Posts Tagged ‘renewable power’

December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Solar Ammonia In A Climate Crisis: Bunker Fuel’s Final Days Can’t Come Soon Enough” • Even without any carbon pricing, within about a decade, solar ammonia will equal or even slightly undercut today’s bunker fuel for cost. There will be less and less of a reason not to switch to ammonia for ships and engines, both for newbuilds and retrofits. [CleanTechnica]

Ship and wind turbine (Public domain image)

¶ “Is California About To Give Up The Driver’s Seat On Electric Vehicles?” • The California Air Resources Board released draft regulations that reduce the Zero Emissions Vehicle requirements from those proposed earlier in the year, and these requirements fall well short of what is needed to limit damage from climate change and air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Arctic Fails Its Annual Health Check As Global Warming Brings More Ills To The Region” • The Arctic Report Card, which serves as an annual physical for the Arctic, found this vast and significant biome is changing profoundly. It continues to warm twice as fast as the rest of the Earth and is rapidly losing its ice cover, visibly changing in just a decade. [CNN]

Northern lights (Johannes Groll, Unsplash)

¶ “New SpaceX Program Will Focus On Converting Atmospheric CO₂ Into Rocket Fuel” • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have announced that SpaceX is starting a program that will take CO₂ out of the atmosphere and convert it into rocket fuel. He also added that anyone interested should join and noted this would also be important for Mars. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Surprise, Surprise! Toyota Previews 15 Electric Cars Coming By 2030” • CEO Akio Toyoda has belittled EVs for years, as he clung stubbornly to the hydrogen fuel cell technology. Now, it seems things have changed. “We need to reduce emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible,” he told the press. And with that, Toyota is going electric. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota concepts (Toyota image)

¶ “Heat Refuge For Avenel Elderly Powered By Solar And BYD Batteries” • In January 2019, much of South Australia and Victoria was baking. Then came the blackout. In the tiny rural town of Avenel, during twenty six hours without power, food and medicine spoiled, and elderly people suffered heat stress. Now, Avenel has a heat refuge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utrecht Wants To Be The First City To Use Its Electric Car Fleet As A Giant Battery” • Utrecht aims to be the first city in the world to be fully bidirectional, using EV batteries to help solve the challenge of intermittent renewable power. It is not necessary to buy batteries, because as people shift to EVs, the cars can be used as grid infrastructure. [Fast Company]

EV in Utrecht (Photo courtesy of We Drive Solar)

¶ “Winch Energy Opens Crowdfunding For Off-Grid Renewables In Africa” • Off-grid renewable energy provider, Winch Energy, has opened its crowdfunding campaign to fund solar off grid developments in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Individuals can invest in Africa’s growing clean energy market via Crowdcube from as little as £10. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewables Support ‘Must Be Tied To Local Content'” • British energy union GMB has urged for renewable energy support to be tied to domestic manufacturing. The union stated the UK’s large reliance on importing renewables infrastructure is a “missed opportunity to cut emissions and support UK manufacturing.” [reNews]

Manufacturing a wind turbine blade (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Protesters Denounce French Push To Label Nuclear As Sustainable Energy” • Demonstrators unfurled a banner that declared, “Gas & nuclear are not green,” outside France’s foreign ministry to protest a government drive to label nuclear energy and fossil gas as climate-friendly investments. The EU is making up a list of such investments. [The Star]

US:

¶ “Pre-Production Tesla Semi Tractors Emerge From Gigafactory 1” • According to Elon Musk, the company is waiting for its latest 4680 format batteries to be in production before going into high gear on making the Semi tractors. But now a story is emerging that the Tesla Semi may already be in limited production of units to release to certain customers. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi

¶ “Energy And Transportation Departments Team Up To Help States Develop Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure” • The Transportation and Energy departments are creating a joint EV charging infrastructure office to help states fast-track planning and construction of EV chargers along highways and in hard-to-reach communities. [CNN]

¶ “Grid Software Solution Could More Than Double Network Capacity For Renewables With No New Infrastructure” • A Smarter Grid Solutions pilot project in New York State was a resounding success. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory predicted it could unlock large amounts of network capacity with no need for new power lines. [PV Magazine]

Power lines (Jaël Vallée, Unsplash)

¶ “Shell Acquires US Solar And Energy Storage Firm” • Royal Dutch Shell announced the acquisition of the US developer of solar and energy storage projects Savion LLC from Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. The move aims to boost Shell’s solar portfolio with Savion’s current 18-GW project capacity of solar and battery storage. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Federal Inspector Falsified Safety Reports At North Anna Nuclear Plant” • A federal inspector who led safety efforts at the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Louisa County plead guilty this week to falsifying safety inspection reports. Croon worked at the power plant for four years and was its senior inspector, court documents say. [WRIC]

Have a firmly founded day.

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December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2021

Opinion and Interview: 

¶ “Who Will Pay For The Damage Caused By Climate Change?” • Damaged buildings and job losses aren’t the only victims of extreme weather events caused by climate change. From Fiji to Barbuda, entire cultures are at stake. But the final COP26 climate pact made no reference to climate finance to address the rising costs of their losses and damages. [BBC]

Kwajalein (Vance Berisford, Unsplash)

¶ “Voices Of 100%: Moab Anchors Utah Community Renewable Energy Program” • To preserve its unique natural environment and the regional economy, Utah cities created a pathway to 100% renewable power by 2030. For this podcast, host John Farrell talks with Moab Sustainability Director Mila Dunbar-Irwin and City Council Member Kalen Jones. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Antarctic Glacier Heading For Dramatic Change” • Scientists warn of dramatic changes at one of Antarctica’s biggest glaciers, potentially within five to ten years. They say a floating section at the front of Thwaites Glacier that had been relatively stable could “shatter like a car windscreen.” Thwaites is as big as Florida. Its outflow has doubled in the past 30 years. [BBC]

Thwaites Glacier (NASA image, public domain)

¶ “Ever Heard Of Synchroinverters? Grid-Stabilizing Devices Connecting Renewables To Distributed Energy Resources” • A Synchroinverter is a smart inverter that mimics a synchronous generator and can respond to grid demand changes extremely quickly. Israel’s Ministry of Energy and the US DOE announced support for some developers. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Cargo Ships Reclaim Wind Power With High Tech Rigid Sails” • The modern shipping industry is taking steps to be powered by the wind again, though with a high tech twist. Last week the French startup Zéphyr & Borée got validation for a container ship decked out with eight rigid sails engineered by the firm Computed Wing Sails. [CleanTechnica]

Ship powered by rigid sails (Computed Wing Sail image)

¶ “Release by Scatec to provide reliable and affordable clean power in Central Africa” • Release by Scatec entered into a lease agreement with Eneo, an electricity company in Cameroon, for two hybrid solar and storage plants totaling 36 MW solar and 20 MW, 19 MWh of storage. The first power is expected to be on by year end 2021. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Ayana Renewable Power Commissions 150 MW Of Solar In India” • Ayana Renewable Power commissioned part of its 300 MW solar project in Bikaner, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. With the addition, Ayana Renewable Power surpassed 1 GW of operational capacity. Its total management and developmental portfolio stands at 2.94 GW. [PV Magazine]

Solar array (Ayana Renewable Power image)

¶ “Renewables Become ‘Indispensable’ Part Of Egypt’s National Electricity Mix” • New and Renewable energy has become an indispensable part of the capacity of Egypt’s national electricity network, especially after the unprecedented boom that Egypt had in the implementation of projects to generate electricity from renewable energy. [Egypt Today]

¶ “French, German Ministers Say Nuclear Power A Difficult Subject” • The French and German finance ministers, during the first visit of new German Finance Minister Christian Lindner to Paris, said talks about the role of nuclear energy in European power markets will be difficult, even if they agreed on most of the other issues. [Reuters]

Cruas nuclear power plant (Yelkrokoyade, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Atmospheric River Is Forecast To Deliver Up To A Foot Of Rain And Feet Of Snow To California” • An atmospheric river – a plume of moisture that streams in off the Pacific Ocean and brings extreme rains – is unleashing flooding rainfall of up to a foot and several feet of snow in some areas. San Francisco has had over 2 inches of rain. [CNN]

¶ “US Businesses To Lose A Collective 3.1 Million Days Of Operation From Flooding In 2022” • As climate change increases sea level, fuels more extreme rainfall, and powers hurricanes, American businesses are set to collectively lose millions of days of operation in coming years due to flood-related damages, according to a report. [CNN]

Nuisance flooding (B137, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Plugin Vehicle Market Share Reaches Record 5.6% In USA, Tesla Dominates” • According to Atlas EV Hub, plugin vehicles hit a record 5.6% share of the automotive market in September, their greatest share of the market ever. Tesla Model 3 sales have been booming, while Model Y sales have been consistently strong and stable for several quarters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Plan To Add 500,000 Electric Car Chargers Is Light On Details” • VP Kamala Harris announced that the administration is planning to add a half million EV chargers from sea to shining sea. Harris offered few details about the program, but she said many of those chargers would be designated for underserved and rural communities. [CleanTechnica]

EV charger (Sophie Jonas, Unsplash)

¶ “High Tech Recycling Mashup In The Works For US Military” • The DOD could be the world’s biggest institutional contributor to the global waste stream, but a change may be in the works. Earlier this year, the DOD launched a high tech recycling R&D program to mine its own trash for resources to sustain military operations in hostile environments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Energy Firms Push States For Carbon Markets To Spur Renewable Fuel Growth” • US energy companies are pressing states to speed development of low-carbon fuel markets similar to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. They warn that numerous proposed projects to make renewable natural gas and other biofuels may fizzle. [Reuters]

Have a noticeably awesome day.

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December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Geoengineering – First It Was About Messing With The Atmosphere. Now It’s About Hacking The Ocean” • A new 300-page report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for scientific investigation into a number of ways of geoengineering the ocean so it can sequester more carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

Report (National Academies of Science)

¶ “Nuclear Power’s Economic Failure” • Despite the abundance of evidence that nuclear power is economically uncompetitive compared to renewables, the nuclear industry and some of its supporters continue to claim otherwise. A report by Friends of the Earth Australia shows nuclear economic failures by detailing real-world nuclear projects. [The Ecologist]

¶ “No, California Shouldn’t Extend The Life Of Its Last Nuclear Plant” • Proponents of nuclear power say keeping the Diablo Canyon plant open would reduce climate pollution, bolster grid reliability, and buy time during a crucial period in the state’s transition toward solar, wind, and other renewable resources. That idea is misguided. [Los Angeles Times]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Doc Searls, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The Climate Crisis Is Affecting Tornadoes” • In the wake of a deadly night of extreme weather, which meteorologists and climate scientists say is historic, questions of whether climate change is intensifying tornadoes are just beginning to emerge. Climate change may have played a part in the violent storms, but it’s not yet clear what that role was. [CNN]

World:

¶ “The Iñupiat Brothers Watching Their Land Melt” • The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as any other place. Indigenous groups who live there, including Alaska’s Iñupiat and the Inuit people of Canada and Greenland, are experiencing profound changes in their environment, which in turn can shake their whole culture and way of life. [BBC]

¶ “China’s Decarbonisation Policy Fine-Tuning Lifts Shares Of Renewable Energy, Grid Solutions Providers” • Changes to China’s decarbonization policy, which were just put into place, will bolster demand for renewable energy and the infrastructure that support its growth, analysts say. Stocks of companies in related fields surged. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “Electric Airplanes To Start Taking Off In Australia” • The home of the koala, the kangaroo, and Qantas is about to launch the world’s first zero emissions, electric airline. “We believe there will be a revolution in aviation and we want to be at the forefront,” Aaron Shaw, chief executive of Sydney Seaplanes, said. “This is the way of the future.” [CleanTechnica]

Seaplane flying over Sydney (Lubo Minar, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Opens ‘Landmark’ 12-GW CFD Auction” • The fourth Contracts for Difference auction for renewable energy in the UK has opened for applications. The Energy Department put £285 million up to support projects. The lion’s share, £200 million, is available for offshore wind. The UK hopes to secure 12 GW of new capacity through the round [reNews]

US:

¶ “More Than 100 Feared Dead After Tornadoes Tear Through Several States” • More than 100 people are feared dead after a series of tornadoes ripped through several states in the Midwest and South and transformed homes and businesses into piles of rubble late Friday into Saturday. It was the deadliest tornado event in Kentucky’s history. [CNN]

Collage of radar imagery of the supercell on Dec 10-11, 2021 (TheAustinMan, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “FEMA Chief Says Powerful Storms ‘New Normal’ In Era Of Climate Change” • Powerful storms like the ones that tore through parts of the central US this weekend are the “new normal” in an era of climate change, Deanne Criswell, the FEMA administrator said. Connecting increasing tornado activity to climate change is not easy, however. [CNN]

¶ “Chevy Electric Silverado Coming In 2023 As GM Amps Up EV Investments” • The Verge is reporting that the Chevy Silverado EV – a battery electric pickup truck designed to take on Ford’s wildly popular F-150 Lightning – will go into production in early 2023, with deliveries to customers expected to begin by the fall of that year. [CleanTechnica]

Hummer Ultium platform (GM image)

¶ “New Mexico EV Enthusiasts Successfully Expand Charging Network With GoFundMe” • A group in New Mexico is working to make the drive in the state’s eastern areas a little easier by adding publicly available Level 2 charging stations. The group is taking matters into their own hands to put in public stations, funded through GoFundMe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rural Arizona Communities To Receive Over $50 Million To Make Energy Efficient Improvements” • More than $50 million is being invested into rural Arizona communities in an effort to reduce the impacts of climate change, the USDA announced. The funds are going to a number of Arizona businesses through the Rural Energy for America Program. [KTAR News]

Have an excitingly advantageous day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Would You Like Fumes With That? ” • As my grandsons and I watched a crew cut down a large tree that had been damaged in a storm, I was impressed by the attention to safety. The men had steel-toed boots, protective clothing, safety goggles, hard hats, and ear protection. Then I realized they were breathing fumes from a chain saw and a diesel truck. [CleanTechnica]

Worker and chain saw (Helena Jankovičov, Pexels)

¶ “Driving A Tesla Makes Life So Much Easier” • I’m a new Tesla (co)owner. I’ve been driving the shiny new white Model Y for two weeks, and, while I do have much to learn about the multitude of settings available through the touchscreen – that will likely be an ongoing process – I now know that driving a Tesla makes life so much easier. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Need To Keep Cleantech Companies From Being Used Against Democracy” • In this short series of articles, I’d like to explore the ways that the Chinese Communist Party extends its reach globally to control us, why its tactics work, and (most importantly to readers here) how it is working toward using the cleantech industry against us. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla ad in China (Image courtesy of Tesla)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Minnesota Lake Ice Shrinking As Climate Change Warms Winters” • Officials from Minnesota’s natural resources and pollution control agencies say climate change is diminishing Minnesota winters, with 10 to 14 fewer days of lake ice over the past 50 years. They say climate change is hurting local economies and the environment. [Keloland.com]

¶ “How The Climate Crisis Is Crushing The Wine Business” • A changing climate is changing the wine industry as we know it and for some producers, who have noticed changes to weather since the 1990s, the change is not all good. Wine grapes usually need a special set of weather conditions to ripen properly and climate change is making that harder. [The Hill]

Grapevine (Sven Finger, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Pitched Solar Roof Options In Europe – The World Beyond Tesla” • On-roof mounting systems still have the largest share in the residential solar PV market. However, for new or refurbished pitched roofs, another option is more cost-effective. Integrated systems, once more expensive, are less costly in today’s market, especially in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Approves Renewable Energy Development Funding Scheme In Croatia” • Croatia notified the European Commission of its intention to introduce a new scheme to support electricity produced from renewable energy sources, namely wind, solar, hydro, biomass, biogas, and geothermal power plants. The EC has approved the scheme. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant by Turboden in Croatia (Turboden image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Hotspot Grinds To A Halt Through Lack Of Transmission Infrastructure” • The 50-MW Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland was Australia’s first to combine a solar farm, 12 wind turbines, and 2 MW of battery storage when it was completed in late 2018. But a lack of transmission infrastructure has kept it idle for three years. [ABC]

¶ “Renewables Already Generate Almost 50% Of Electricity … But Electricity Remains At Record Prices” • According to Red Elctrica de Espaa, renewables, including hydro, wind, and solar energy, have generated the 48.7% of electricity in Spain this year, more than double the 22.1% produced by nuclear. The high cost of gas kept electricity prices high, however. [CVBJ]

Andasol Solar Power Station (kallerna, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Zero Carbon Lithium Company Vulcan Acquires Geothermal Plant; Brine Offtake Agreement With geox” • Vulcan Energy Resources has agreed to acquire an operational geothermal renewable energy power plant in the Upper Rhine Valley at Insheim, Germany, through the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the owner. [Green Car Congress]

US:

¶ “A White Christmas Is Less Likely For Many. The Grinch To Blame Is Climate Change” • Meteorologists refering to “normal” weather are mainly referring to a three decade data set, updated every ten years. The current data, from 1991 to 2020, is generally milder and less snowy due to the climate crisis. For many people, a White Christmas is less likely. [CNN]

Reindeer (Norman Tsui, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Pledges Federal Support In Aftermath Of Deadly Storms” • President Joe Biden told reporters traveling with him in Wilmington, Delaware he’d been monitoring the situation “very closely since early this morning,” after what he called one of the “largest tornado outbreaks in our history” left at least 84 dead across six states. [CNN]

¶ “US Interior Secretary Haaland Touts Solar Energy In Desert Visit” • US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the California desert to promote solar farms and other renewable projects on public lands in the West. She said the Interior Department is working with states, cities, and tribes to permit at least 25 GW of onshore renewable energy by 2025. [The Desert Sun]

Have a spectacularly worthwhile day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2021

World:

¶ “Netherlands Reaches 28% BEV Share In November!” • Despite an artificially inflated November 2020 (resulting from CO₂ fleet mandates and fiscal changes), the Dutch plugin EV market managed to stay in positive territory last month, rising 7% year over year. In November, 10,613 plugin registrations were logged, a new year best. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Eduardo Arcos, Unsplash)

¶ “ANZU: Taking Chargers From Hard-To-Find Novelties To Ubiquitous Infrastructure In Oz” • Startup ANZU, named for a Sumerian mythical creature and a dinosaur, is aiming to put affordable AC chargers everywhere in Australia. ANZU is ready. It’s compliant with national standards and registered as a supplier of electrical equipment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla China Sold Nearly 53,000 Made-In-China Vehicles In November, Crushing Claims Of Dropping Demand” • For the month of November, Tesla China sold 52,859 made-in-China vehicles, according to the China Passenger Car Association. This includes the export sales of 21,127 vehicles. So much for major media predictions of failure. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Shanghai gigafactory (courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Volkswagen Ramps Up Its Electric Car Strategy” • Volkswagen recently made several announcements about how it plans to pick up the pace of its transition to manufacturing electric cars and trucks. On December 8, it reported three strategic partnerships to help it strengthen its battery technology know-how and cost management. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrolyzer Ramping From 0 To 50,000 Amperes In Less Than 10 Seconds” • Hydrogen Optimized, based in Toronto, said it had demonstrated that its RuggedCell high-current unipolar electrolysis system could ramp from 0 to 50,000 amperes in less than 10 seconds. This can be used to stabilize electrical grids and optimize renewable grid capacity. [PV Magazine]

Electrolyzer (DLR, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Rio Tinto Begins Construction Of Its Renewable Energy Project In Madagascar” • Rio Tinto reported that it and partner Crossboundary Energy started building a solar and wind project to power the QMM ilmenite mine operations in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar. Rio Tinto’s goal is for operations in Madagascar to be carbon neutral by 2023. [KITCO]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa 14-MW Prototype Delivers First Power” • Siemens Gamesa’s prototype 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine has started producing electricity at the test site at Østerild in Denmark. The turbine has a rotor diameter of 222 meters and features the company’s new B108 blades. Orders for the turbine have already been placed. [reNews]

Prototype 14-MW wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

US:

¶ “These Lawmakers’ Districts Are At Highest Risk Of Flooding. Here’s Where They Stand On The Climate Crisis” • An analysis found 25% of all critical infrastructure – things like hospitals, police stations and power plants – is at risk of being inoperable due to flooding. The risk is greater in some areas. A map shows risk levels and how lawmakers vote. [CNN]

¶ “Tornadoes Causing Chaos Across Several US States” • One person died in an Arkansas nursing home and a roof collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois as tornadoes created havoc in several states. Twenty people were trapped inside the nursing home after it partly collapsed. Workers are also believed to be trapped in the Amazon warehouse. [BBC]

Tornado (Nikolas Noonan, Unsplash)

¶ “Navy Reports Contamination At A Second Water Shaft Servicing Hawaii Base” • The Navy reported dangerous levels of petroleum contamination in a second groundwater source at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, state health officials said, expanding the scope of a tainted water crisis that has already forced hundreds from their homes. [CNN]

¶ “Nebraska Just Voted To Go 100% Clean Electricity” • Nebraska is the 20th state to commit to 100% clean electricity by 2050. The Nebraska Public Power District approved net-zero carbon goal, joining the Omaha Public Power District and the Lincoln Electric System. The NPPD board of directors voted 9–2 to adopt the net-zero commitment. [CleanTechnica]

Omaha (John Matychuk, Unsplash)

¶ “NYC Is Planning To Buy Over $12 Million Worth Of Tesla Model 3s” • New York City will hold a Contract Public Hearing on December 16, 2021, via conference call, to discuss a proposed contract between its Department of Citywide Administrative Service and Tesla. The city wants to purchase $12,360,000 worth of Tesla Model 3 EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Ends F-150 Lightning Reservations, Says It Needs More Batteries” • When Ford announced the Mustang Mach-E, it planned on making maybe 30,000 of them. It was sort of a “Let’s run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes” kind of deal. Now, Ford CEO Jim Farley says Ford is completely oversubscribed with its battery EVs. [CleanTechnica]

F-150 Lightning (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

¶ “Transforming The Grid, The Supply Chain And The Economy With Offshore Wind” • Offshore wind is positioned to become an increasingly important source of energy in the US over the next decade. As the offshore wind industry grows in the US, it could mean more jobs, big investments, and the development of local economies. [T&D World]

¶ “Renewable Energy Company Moves Ahead With Massive Solar Farm On Bill Gates-Owned Land” • A renewable energy company aims to develop one of the largest solar farms in the US. It includes land owned by Bill Gates. The 10,000-acre solar farm would be built near Plumwood, Ohio, and would cost at least $1 billion to build. [Yahoo Autos]

Have a decidedly positive day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Historic EU Finance Rules For EVs Undermined By Support For Gas” • EVs will be the only cars that can be classified as green investments as of 2026, under rules cleared by EU governments recently. But the historic, sustainable finance rules will be badly undermined by the European Commission’s decision to label gas investments as green. [CleanTechnica]

Money (Ibrahim Boran, Unsplash)

¶ “Rare Minerals In Batteries? Greener, Friendlier Alternatives Already In Use – RMI Reality Check” • There is a lot of anxiety about cobalt, which is needed for some EV batteries but has destructive extraction methods. It has been used to undermine the whole concept of EVs. One problem with this story is that we don’t need cobalt to power EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “They Sailed Into A Hurricane, Now These Unmanned Saildrones Are Seeking Data On Our Carbon Uptake” • Six unmanned Saildrones are heading out on a six-month voyage to collect data about the Gulf Stream through the winter months, in hopes of learning more about carbon uptake – the process by which oceans absorb carbon. [CNN]

Saildrones (Saildrone image)

World:

¶ “Australian Lawmakers Blast Murdoch’s ‘Troubling Media Monopoly’ In New Report” • An Australian Senate committee issued a scathing indictment of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, calling it the country’s “clearest example of a troubling media monopoly.” The government’s indecision on climate clearly shows the of News Corp’s control. [CNN]

¶ “Madagascar Food Crisis: How A Woman Helped Save Her Village From Starvation” • People are starving in the drought in southern Madagascar. But those who live in one village have enough food. One woman, with the help of a local charity, the Agro-ecological Centre of the South, has been teaching about the farming techniques to use in drought. [BBC]

Baobab trees in Madagascar (gemmmm, Unsplash)

¶ “VW’s Charging Arm Offers Intelligent Green Electricity Use In Germany” • Volkswagen Group has its own charging business, Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH. It is offering Volkswagen EV drivers more options for how they get their electricity. German EV owners can now get 100% of their electricity from green energy sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Critical As NEM Prepares For Step Change” • The Australian Energy Market Operator forecast utility-scale variable renewable energy capacity in the National Electricity Market will increase nine-fold by 2050 while smaller scale distributed energy resources will grow five-fold as grid demand soars and coal-fired generation withdraws. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar panels (BE Power image)

¶ “Seoul Aims To Source 71% Of Power From Renewables By Exiting From Coal And Nuclear” • South Korea is pushing ahead with a goal of raising renewable energy to over 70% with the help of not-yet commercialized green hydrogen technology while eliminating coal-fired power stations and reducing nuclear reactor sourcing to 6%. [Pulse News Korea]

US:

¶ “Hyundai Ioniq 5 And Kia EV6 Both Get 300+ Mile EPA Range Rating” • The EPA released its range ratings for all three versions of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. Both cars are expected to go on sale in the US soon, but final pricing details are pending. Long range, single motor, rear-wheel drive units of both models have range ratings of over 300 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Kia EV6 (Image courtesy of Kia)

¶ “New FEMA Plan Puts Climate Crisis Front And Center After Trump Administration Erased It” • President Joe Biden’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is putting climate front and center in its new four-year strategic planning document, after the Trump administration erased all mention of climate from its previous plan. [CNN]

¶ “52 Utility Companies Plus TVA Form EV Charging Coalition” • According to the Edison Electric Institute, 51 investor-owned utilities, one electric co-op, and the TVA have banded together to form the National Electric Highway Association, whose goal is to provide EV fast charging ports along major US travel corridors by the end of 2023. [CleanTechnica]

EEI national charging coalition map (Image from EEI)

¶ “US Mayors Are Working Diligently On Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy” • A report, “Leveraging New Technologies to Modernize Infrastructure and Improve Energy Efficiency in America’s Cities,” provides timely information on how mayors are working in the US to incorporate energy technologies and infrastructure improvements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Books Scottish Lift For US Offshore Trio” • Scottish engineering company Pict Offshore has signed a deal with Ørsted to deploy the ‘Get Up Safe’ motion-compensated lifting system at the 132-MW South Fork offshore wind farm off New York state, and at two further projects off the US north-east coast, Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind. [reNews]

Worker at an offshore wind site (Pict Offshore image)

¶ “Swell Energy Working With California Utilities To Advance Virtual Power Plants” • Renewable energy and grid company Swell Energy Inc said that it is working with three California utilities on pilot projects to expand grid services use cases for residential solar+storage resources to meet local and regional energy needs. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Small Nuclear Reactor Might Be Built At Oyster Creek” • Holtec Decommissioning International, which is doing the work of decommissioning the aged Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, is now looking at developing the site for a prototype nuclear reactor. The mayor of Lacey Township, where the plant sits, is supportive of the idea. [Jersey Shore Online]

Have an easily superlative day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Heavy Rain Triggered Indonesia’s Volcano Eruption. This Could Happen More” • Indonesians are used to dealing with natural disasters. But Mount Semeru’s eruption on the island of Java was different. Days of heavy rain had gradually eroded its lava dome, which acts as a plug. Scientists say the rain and the eruption are connected. [CNN]

Mount Semeru before the eruption (Wendy Winarno, Unsplash)

¶ “Golf Courses On Borrowed Time As Earth’s Weather Patterns Become Wilder” • The thirty or so golf courses in the Salt Lake County of Utah drink up around nine million gallons of water each day to stay pristine green. Golf courses have large carbon footprints, and a changing climate makes them even harder to keep in good condition. [CNN]

¶ “Solar Ammonia In A Climate Crisis: Almost Certainly The Most Affordable Of All Low-Carbon Shipping Fuels” • Shipping has a relatively small portion of total GHG emissions, but it will be hard to eliminate because large ships have long lifetimes and need a high specific energy storage medium. Green ammonia may be a fuel for that job. [CleanTechnica]

Container ship (Borderpolar Photographer, Unsplash)

¶ “It’s Extremely Rare For Teslas To Spontaneously Catch On Fire” • A Tesla hater website has listed every incident of a Tesla catching on fire. They listed a total of 60 fire-related Tesla incidents from 2013 through 2021. By contrast, The National Fire Protection Association found that 212,500 US vehicle fires caused 560 deaths in 2018 alone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Grid Stability And 100% Renewables” • Research by Stanford University’s Mark Jacobson addresses doubts about grid stability in a world powered 100% by renewable energy. The study models 100% wind, water, and solar powered grids in the US, finding no risk of blackouts in any region. It also sees broad benefits in cost reduction, job creation, and land use. [PV Magazine]

Power lines at Grand Coulee Dam (Varistor60, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “South Australia Leads The World On Grid-Scale Renewables” • Rising from the ashes of a massive power blackout in 2016 with help of the Tesla Big Battery, South Australia is a world leader in shifting a grid from fossil fuels to renewable sources. Now the state finds itself very close to being able to operate a grid with no fossil fuel input at all. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why climate lawsuits are surging” • The last few years have seen a snowballing of court rulings in favor of environmentalists around the world. The cumulative number of cases related to climate change has more than doubled since 2015, according to a report by Kaya Axelsson of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and colleagues. [BBC]

Climate protest (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Electrify Everything! Oslo Plans To Reduce Emissions 95% By 2030” • The city of Oslo plans to cut carbon emissions by 95% compared to 2009 levels in the next eight years. A major part of that plan is to electrify everything. The City Council plans a zero emissions zone in the center of the city that only EVs will be permitted to enter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW Invests In 100-GWh Wind Farm As Part Of Investment In Renewable Energy For EVs” • Volkswagen announced that it has agreed to help fund a wind farm in northern Sweden as part of a commitment to spend €40 million ($45 million) on renewable energy projects through 2025. The wind farm is the largest single project so far taken on by the automaker. [Carscoops]

Wind and solar power in Austria (Thomas Galler, Unsplash)

¶ “Neoen Begins Operations At Victorian Big Battery” • Neoen, a renewable energy company based in France, put its 300-MW, 450-MWh Victorian Big Battery in Geelong, Australia, into operation. Claimed to be one of the world’s largest batteries, the storage facility is built next to the Moorabool Terminal Station in Geelong. [Power Technology]

¶ “Environment Minister Knows Nuclear Can’t Compete: Tom Rand” • Tom Rand, author of the book Climate Capitalism, says Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, whose past includes anti-nuclear activism, has been “clever” in suggesting a market-based, hands-off approach. Nuclear power is too big, expensive, and cumbersome. [Yahoo]

Nuclear unable to compete (Boudewijn Huysmans, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Biden Signs Order For Government To Achieve Net-Zero Emissions By 2050” • The US government will be a net zero contributor to the climate crisis by 2050 by transitioning to an all-electric fleet of cars and trucks and reducing planet-heating emissions from its operations, under to a new executive order signed by Joe Biden. [The Guardian]

¶ “Florida Enacts Climate Resiliency Plan That Is 100% Free Of ‘Left-Wing Stuff'” • The Florida legislature passed a $270 million climate resiliency plan to fund 76 projects that improve drainage, raise sea walls, and take other steps to fight flooding in the state, Yahoo! News reported. But seas are rising an inch every eight years in parts of the state. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown Jacksonville (Wade Austin Ellis, Unsplash)

¶ “Navy Says It Will Pause Operations At Hawaii Fuel Site Linked To Tap Water Contamination” • The health department ordered the Navy to halt operations at the fuel storage facility on Monday after a tainted water crisis forced more than 700 people from their homes. The Navy now says it is pausing all operations at its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage facility. [CNN]

¶ “Solar Power System Guidance In Face Of Extreme Weather, Tech Innovation, Rock-Bottom Prices” • Scientists at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have laid out a cost-effective five-point plan to improve the reliability of solar panels for extreme weather, rapid innovation, and extremely competitive prices. [CleanTechnica]

Have an unfathomably pleasant day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Insurmountable Green Hydrogen Barriers In Australia Or Just Minor Obstacles?” • Australia is known to be a dry continent. So a study decrying the huge amount of clean water that is needed to produce green hydrogen is going to get more than a few readers. I see it as another part of the fight to keep fossil fuel fracked gas in the energy mix. [CleanTechnica]

Australia’s Painted Desert (Thomas Kupper, Unsplash)

¶ “How To Teach Climate Science” • The big glitch in California’s new science education standards, which focus heavily on climate change, is that few schoolteachers have the background to give lessons on the subject, says Kelley Le, director of the UCI Science Project. Le organized climate change boot camps for educators to address the problem. [Phys.org]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This New 64-Foot Hydrogen-Powered Catamaran Uses Renewable Energy To Supply Unlimited Range” • Fraser Yachts has just unveiled a new catamaran powered by hydrogen. Aquon One combines innovative green technologies for sustainable cruising without noise and emissions but with modern comforts. It is set for delivery in 2023. [Robb Report]

Aquon One (Fraser Yachts image)

¶ “Passive Solar Energy Could Provide A Third Of Home Heating Needs” • Space heating is one of the largest contributors to climate change produced by industrialized nations, creating an urgent need for carbon-free heating. Recent advances suggest that passive solar energy as a heat source can and should be part of a sustainable solution. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Indonesia’s Biodiesel Drive Is Leading To Deforestation” • Indonesia pledged at the recent COP26 climate summit that its greenhouse gas emissions would peak by 2030. It also said that it will end deforestation by that date. But it is relying on using more biofuels for transportation, and that may mean loss of forested land. [BBC]

Rain forest (Atharva Tulsi, Unsplash)

¶ “Increasing Support For EV Uptake In New South Wales” • The New South Wales Liberal Government, unlike Australia’s Federal Liberal Government, is actively seeking hosts for EV chargers in tourist spots. Add this to the recently introduced subsidies and rebates and you get a recipe for massive and rapid expansion of the EV fleet in the state. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IRENA Signs Decarbonisation Agreement With Costa Rica” • The Government of Costa Rica and the International Renewable Energy Agency signed an agreement to work together to boost renewable energy project financing and strengthen the country’s decarbonization plans. Costa Rica already has one of the cleanest power generation mixes in the world. [Energy Global]

Costa Rican red-eyed tree frog (Zdeněk Macháček, Unsplash)

¶ “Financing For Turkey’s Renewable Industry To Reach $2.5 Billion By End-2021” • Funding for Turkey’s renewable energy sector is estimated to be $2.5 billion this year, with more than half channeled to solar projects, according to a banking official. Turkey’s installed renewable capacity reached 52.5 GW at the end of October of this year. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “Power Prices Soar On French Nuclear Questions, Gas Worries” • European power prices hit highs as traders worry about French and German nuclear power and gas from Russia. Germany’s ongoing nuclear exit program takes 4.2 GW of capacity outline by Dec. 31. Traders are also concerned about low gas supplies from Russia this winter. [Nasdaq]

Nuclear power plant in France (Stefan Kühn, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Finally Some Relief: Gasoline And Natural Gas Prices Are Falling” • After a relentless rise, prices at the pump are heading south. The national average price for a gallon of regular as fell to a seven-week low of $3.35 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA. The outlook for home heating costs this winter is also improving significantly. [CNN]

¶ “EPA Proposes Changes To Its Biofuels Program, Notching A Win For The Industry And Farmers” • The EPA has announced proposed changes to its biofuels program to spur more biofuel use and crack down on waivers issued to refineries by the Trump administration, notching a win for the biofuels industry and farmers and a blow to oil refineries. [CNN]

Streetcar running on biodiesel (brandonink2001, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Investigating Coal Ash Sites Near You” • Coal ash is one of the most important types of industrial waste in the US. Hundreds of coal ash ponds, filled with various solids from burning coal, dot the country, as shown by data federal regulations require pond operators to publish. The data was compiled by Earthjustice, an environmental nonprofit. [CNN]

¶ “Jersey City Receives Its Five BYD Battery-Electric Refuse Trucks” • Jersey City is taking delivery of its five battery-electric refuse trucks. BYD said they are the first battery-electric refuse trucks deployed in New Jersey and this is the largest deployment of them in the US to date. Delivery is expected to be completed by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Refuse truck (Courtesy of BYD)

¶ “US Coal Stockpiles Hit Lowest Level Since 1978” • Stockpiles of coal at US electric power plants totaled 80 million tons at the end of September, the lowest monthly level since 1978. As coal plants retired and the remaining plants were used less, total coal stockpiles declined. Inventories also fell because of increased generating over the summer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadian Developer Toasts 185-MW Illinois Onshore” • Canadian company Cordelio Power has started commercial operations at the 185-MW Glacier Sands wind farm in Illinois. The project in Mason County is comprised of 43 Vestas V150-4.3 turbines. It will sell 100% of the electricity it generates through a 15-year contract to Microsoft. [reNews]

Have a conveniently uncomplicated day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “In Tests, Cars Powered By E-Petrol Pollute The Air As Much As Petrol Cars” • E-fuels are chemically similar to petrol and diesel. The fossil fuel industry and car parts suppliers tout them as a way to prolong the life of the internal combustion engine with zero emissions. But they are costly, and testing shows they emit as much NOx as fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ “The EU Is Finally Putting Its Money Where Its Mouth Is On China” • The EU has wanted trade with China, but is unwilling to ignore human rights abuses and climate failures. A coherent strategy of the EU is now coming into focus, through a series of policies that have the clear ambition of countering China, regardless of investment and trade. [CNN]

¶ “The World’s Newest Nation Is Both Drying Up And Drowning” • While droughts and floods may seem like polar opposites, they are more related than what is obvious. To those dealing with this problem in South Sudan, the climate crisis is clearly here already and offers the rest of the world a glimpse of what complications it could bring. [CNN]

¶ “Shell Pulls Out Of Cambo Oil Field Project” • Things can change in a heartbeat in the oil business, it seems. The Guardian reports that Shell announced it won’t pursue the Cambo project after all. Its CEO said last week that it needed to develop such projects, but now it says the business case for the development is too weak to go ahead. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Amid Shortage, Canada Taps Into Emergency Maple Syrup Reserves” • The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers – the so-called OPEC of maple syrup – has released about 22 million kg from its emergency larder, nearly half the total in reserve. Demand for maple syrup is high, but a shorter and warmer season caused the supply to drop by nearly a quarter. [BBC]

Sugar house (Mike Petrucci, Unsplash)

¶ “Japanese Startup Building Ship With 220-MWh Battery Storage To Bring Offshore Renewable Power Home” • Startup PowerX has a concept of the Power ARK power transfer vessel. The company has announced a partnership with shipbuilding company Imabari Shipbuilding to develop a prototype by the end of 2025. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Partners On Offshore Wind-To-Hydrogen” • Siemens Gamesa signed a memorandum of understanding with Strohm to collaboratively develop offshore wind-to-hydrogen infrastructure. They will focus on a decentralized concept, with each turbine generating green hydrogen and sending it to shore through a submarine pipe. [reNews]

Hydrogen generating station (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Fukushima Evacuees Return Home For First Overnight Stay In Over 10 Years Since Nuclear Disaster” • Some residents of Japan’s Katsurao village spent their first night at home in over a decade since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned their village into a no-go zone. They hope to return full-time soon. (Very short video) [South China Morning Post]

US:

¶ “Christmas Trees Burned By The Heat, Dwindling The Supply” • Oregon produces roughly 40% of the nation’s Christmas tree supply, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Last summer’s heat waves have resulted in losses of Christmas tree crops. The Christmas tree growers are struggling, and the prices for consumers have increased. [CNN]

Christmas trees (Oliver Dumoulin, Unsplash)

¶ “SEC Probes Tesla On Whistleblower’s Claims About Solar Panel Defects” • Tesla is under regulatory investigation in a whistleblower case filed some years ago. He alleged the company failed to properly disclose fire risks associated with solar panel defects. The solar panel probe was revealed in a letter from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. [CNN]

¶ “Solid-State EV Battery Plot Thickens As GM Inks Deal With POSCO” • GM said it and the Korean firm POSCO Chemical joined to build a battery factory in the US. GM reminded us that its coming Ultium platform aims to deliver an EV battery cell that costs 40% less than the one used in its Chevy Bolt. And GM talked about what comes after that. [CleanTechnica]

GMC Hummer EVs (Screenshot courtesy of GM)

¶ “10,000 Workplace EV Chargers Now In USA – Boom In 2021” • We just have data through the first quarter of 2021 so far, but the first quarter did see a notable boom in workplace charging stations for employees’ EVs. The US DOE reported that around 1,000 chargers were installed in the US in the quarter, bringing the total to nearly 10,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrify America Adds 30 MWh Of Battery Storage To 140 EV Charging Sites” • Electrify America has been installing large behind-the-meter storage batteries from Tesla to 140 of its fast charging facilities, 90 of them in California. To date, the total installed battery capacity is 30 MWh and growing. It is the largest such system in North America. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Electrify America image)

¶ “California Energy Commission Pairs with US Navy on Microgrid And Clean Energy Projects” • The US Navy and the California Energy Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on energy and water-related projects to improve the reliability, efficiency and resilience of Navy installations in California. [T&D World]

¶ “Con Edison Plans 2.4-GW Offshore Link To New Jersey” • Con Edison Transmission is proposing a grid network link to deliver electricity from offshore wind farms to New Jersey. The plans for the Clean Link New Jersey project would look to connect 2.4 GW of future offshore wind capacity to the grid’s high-voltage onshore network. [reNews]

Have a reflectively celebratory day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2021

Opinion and Review: 

¶ “All You Need To Know About Electric Campers” • Here is a view of one person’s personal selection of a number of electric campers that are noteworthy, existing, conceptual, or rendered. It is followed by a list of a few obstacles we’re obviously facing with electric campers – together with some of the solutions we might see put to use. [CleanTechnica]

Stella Vita Solar Camper (Solar Team Eindhoven)

¶ “Explaining The Exponential Growth Of Renewable Energy” • Understanding the exponential growth of renewable energy gives us reason to be more optimistic about how fast it can ramp up to meet climate goals. This article explains the reasons behind solar and wind’s growth, how much progress has already been made and what’s needed to go even further. [GreenBiz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Discover Another Reason Why EV Batteries Can’t Charge In A Few Minutes” • At Argonne National Laboratory, scientists discovered that when lithium-ion batteries are charged too quickly, the lithium ions cover on the surface of the graphite anode, plating it, instead of inserting themselves into the anode’s graphite. This reduces battery life. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium ions in a graphite anode (ANL image)

¶ “3D Printing Could Be A Game Changer In The Renewable Energy Sector” • With the supply levels of fossil fuels reaching all-time lows and the effects of climate change running rampant, the need for change in the energy sector is clear. Creative and sustainable solutions must be put into action. And 3D printing is ready to answer that call. [Manufactur3D]

¶ “Climate Scientist Warns Countries Thinking About Starting Geoengineering Earth – Consequences Could Be Disastrous” • A climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Kate Ricke, told Wired geoengineering is actually so affordable that countries will inevitably choose to do it. But the effects of doing so might not be what they want. [MITechNews]

One proposed geoengineering project (Hughhunt, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Is ‘Blue Hydrogen’ Japan’s Answer To Coal?” • Japan is turning for energy to “blue hydrogen,” which is made from natural gas or coal, with carbon capture and sequestration. One energy expert thinks the Japanese government chose blue hydrogen a decade ago when renewables were expensive, and they are now locked into a plan that no longer makes sense. [BBC]

¶ “Will This Solar Farm Blind New Zealand Pilots?” • New Zealand is installing its biggest solar farm at Christchurch Airport. The 150-MW system will almost double New Zealand’s installed capacity. There is no real fear that the PVs will reflect sunlight to blind pilots, but it’s a good bet anti-renewable scare mongers will push that idea. [CleanTechnica]

Typical New Zealand housing (Adrien Aletti, Unsplash)

¶ “Voltalia Inks Bundled PPA For 56-MW Solar Project In France” • France’s Voltalia SA has sealed a corporate power purchase agreement with French lender LCL, the retail banking unit of Credit Agricole SA, for the output of a 56-MW solar park. Ten French companies, along with LCL, will buy green electricity from the project for 20 years. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Renewables Account For Over 68% Of Brazil’s Year-To-Date Power Additions” • Brazil has switched on over 6,436 MW of new power plants since the beginning of the year, of which 47.41% comes from wind farms, 19.46% from solar and 1.39% from small hydropower plants. The year’s goal of 4,790 MW was surpassed in September. [Renewables Now]

Solar project in Brazil (CoyoteBR, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Renewable Electricity Growth Is Accelerating Faster Than Ever Worldwide” • The latest IEA report says growth of the world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable technologies is on course to accelerate over the coming years, with 2021 expected to set a fresh record for new installations. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “World’s Largest Renewables Player Granted Retail License For Australia” • The world’s largest private renewable energy player, Enel, with 51 GW of renewable capacity, announced it has been granted a retail energy licence from the Australian Energy Regulator. Enel will offer its “greentailer” solution to Australia’s National Energy Market. [pv magazine Australia]

Cohuna Solar Farm (Enel image)

US:

¶ “PUC To Give A Boost To Renewable Projects In Northern Maine” • Despite criticism of the New England Clean Energy Connect project, state regulators in Maine have begun the process of collecting proposals for a high-voltage transmission line to serve as a conduit for renewable energy projects in northern Maine. [The Portland Press Herald]

¶ “Lithium Brine Bummer Could Turn Into Bonanza Soon” • Geothermal power plants at the Salton Sea in California produce brine that is so extraordinarily high in lithium that the US could become to a leading producer of lithium for EV batteries. There are technical issues in the way, but it appears that the issues can be overcome. [CleanTechnica]

Hell’s Kitchen geothermal plant (Controlled Thermal Resources)

¶ “Six California Communities Move To 100% Renewable Energy” • East Bay Community Energy said six communities, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Hayward, Pleasanton, and San Leandro, have elected to transition to its Renewable 100 service, sourced entirely from California wind and solar resources, at a slight increase in cost. [The Independent]

¶ “Activists: Holtec Walks Back Plans To Dump Nuclear Water Into Cape Cod Bay” • The Director of Cape Downwinders, Diane Turco, said Holtec, the company decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, is backing off potential plans to dump a million gallons of possibly radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay. [WBZ News Radio]

Have a marvelously agreeable day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Q&A With Alberta “Birdie” Carpenter: How To Untangle Carbon From The Vast Web Of Manufacturing And Supply Chains” • Birdie Carpenter was born in Guam, spent a few years in Saipan, and grew up in many countries. Now, she studies big carbon footprints that are as complex, vast, and intertwined as her upbringing. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta “Birdie” Carpenter (NREL image)

¶ “Renewable Wind Energy Can Help Save The Planet And The Ocean’s Marine Life” • The ocean’s winds are about to play two new historical roles: helping to save us from fossil fuels and making habitats safe for marine life. As offshore wind turbines generate electricity, they also bring fish and shellfish and even crustaceans back to the seas. [EVWind.es]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch Is Immense Plastic Habitat” • Scientists have discovered marine animals living on plastic debris in an area of the open Pacific ocean called “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Plants and animals, including anemones, tiny marine bugs, molluscs and crabs, were found on 90% of the debris, far from their usual habitats. [BBC]

Crab (upper right) and other life on plastic (Smithsonian)

¶ “What If We Could Turn Our Houses And Buildings Into Batteries?” • It is possible to build a battery out of iron and cement. It is not a battery that can store much energy in a small area, but considering that buildings are built of cement and iron, the cement battery can be built very, very large and also be a place to live and work. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “100% Of Renault Courtesy Cars (Loaners) In England And Wales Now 100% Electric” • The best way to convert someone to electric driving, whether they come in with a lot of interest or a lot of trepidation, is to get them to try to drive one. With that in mind, I’m thoroughly impressed with what Renault Group is now doing in England and Wales. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe cars (Image courtesy of Renault Group)

¶ “Legacy Combustion Vehicles Drop Below 50% Share In Germany As Plugins Grab Over A Third Of The Market” • In Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, plugin electric vehicles took 34.4% share in November, up from 20.5% a year ago. And combined legacy combustion powertrains fell below 50% share for the first time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Crisis In Australia: AdBlue Chemical Shortage Might Render Diesel Trucks Inoperable” • There’s a shortage of urea, which is used in the making of AdBlue, a product used to make diesel “safer” or more “anti-polluting.” ABC News Australia reported that this is a crisis. It could almost make the diesel trucking industry of Australia come to a halt. [CleanTechnica]

Diesel and AdBlue (myshoun, Pixabay)

¶ “Lithium Factory Announced Next To Tesla Giga Berlin” • Once Tesla’s new Berlin Gigafactory starts cranking out battery packs, it’s going to require plenty of lithium, among other raw materials. So, it’s probably not a coincidence that a lithium processing facility has been planned for a location very near the Berlin Gigafactory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy And Sustainability: Stakeholders And Consumer Trends” • Reports released by Norwegian clean energy firm ECOHZ and US utility NRG Energy highlight the value of clean capacity. According to the report by ECOHZ, sustainability strategies are pushing large companies to embrace renewable energy. [Power Engineering International]

Wind turbines (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Stuck Jet Stream, La Nina Causing Weird Weather” • America’s winter wonderland is starting out this season as anything but traditional. Umbrellas, if not arks, are needed in the Pacific Northwest, while in the Rockies snow shovels are gathering cobwebs. Meanwhile, there is a blizzard warning on Hawaii’s Big Island summits. [AP News]

¶ “South Lake Tahoe May Pass Most Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan In Country” • Next week, South Lake Tahoe’s City Council may pass the most ambitious renewable energy plan of any municipality in the US. If it approves resolution 100/24/7, it would commit the city to using 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity, 24/7, by 2030. [Tahoe Daily Tribune]

South Lake Tahoe (Mark Miller, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Could A Regional Western Transmission System Help Lower Your Electricity Rates?” • A Utah-led study funded by the US DOE took a look at how teaming up to form a shared energy transmission system in the region could benefit eleven Western states, and the savings look to be potentially huge. It could save the states $2 billion per year. [Deseret News]

¶ “BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Guidance For Renewable Energy On BLM Public Lands” • The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on draft guidance covering wind and solar energy on public lands. The proposed update is to reduce rental rates and capacity fees for existing and new wind and solar energy on public lands. [Sierra Sun Times]

Public land (Bureau of Land Management, public domain)

¶ “Bitcoin Miners Say They’re Helping To Fix The Broken Texas Electric Grid – And Ted Cruz Agrees” • The Texas power grid is struggling with fluctuating energy prices and sporadic service, but the state’s growing bitcoin mining community claims it can help fix it. Republican Senator Ted Cruz agrees. Grid operator ERCOT, however, might not. [CNBC]

¶ “Vogtle Monitors See More Delays, Extra $1 Billion For Nuclear Plant” • Don Grace, who is paid by the Georgia Public Service Commission to monitor the Vogtle plant construction,  says that the increased delay to get the reactors online could mean $1 billion more in spending on a project already set to cost $28.7 billion. [WSAV-TV] (Originally, it was to cost $14 billion)

Have an altogether amusing day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2021

Amazing:

¶ “Drag Race: Tesla Model S Plaid Crushes Fossil Fuel Powered Competitors (Video)” • Here is a drag race with a 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, a 2022 BMW M5 CS, and a 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid. The sedans with internal combustion engines may have been among the fastest in their class, but in a drag race against the Plaid S, both were left far behind. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S (Jp Valery, Unsplash)

¶ “The Miraculous Engineering Of Tesla: Two Teslas Fall Off Cliffs, Everyone Walks Away” • In recent weeks there were two incidents in which Teslas fell off cliffs. One took place in Puerto Rico and the other took place in Utah. Both happened during Thanksgiving week. All of the occupants in both vehicles survived the crashes. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Team Scholz promises a new Germany” • Social Democrats who champion fair society, the Free Democrats who champion business and industry, and the Greens are setting up Germany’s new government. While it seems odd that this group would band together, they are doing so, and their common agenda starts with addressing climate change. [BBC]

Green Party’s Annalena Baerbock (Bündnis 90, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Norway Over 90% Plugin EV Share In November – Legacy ICE At Record Low” • Norway, the world’s leading market in the EV transition, saw plugins take 91.2% share in November, up from 79.9% a year ago. Non-hybridized combustion vehicles saw a record low of under 5.1% share in November, with pure petrol at just 2.3% of the market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Polestar Provides Preview Of Pre-Production SUV” • Polestar is following up the sneak peek of its upcoming 5 luxury sedan with something a little more accessible to most of us. It’s called the 3, and it will be the first Volvo Group car to use the Geely SEA architecture that underpins the high-end Zeekr in China. Not a bad thing, by any stretch! [CleanTechnica]

Polestar 3 (Polestar image – It is available in other colors.)

¶ “IEA Forecast On Renewable Electricity Capacity” • Renewables are set to account for almost 95% of the increase in global power capacity through 2026. Global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise over 60% from 2020 levels to over 4,800 GW by then, equivalent to the current global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined. [GreentechLead]

¶ “New Canadian Facility To Produce Renewable Fuel From Air” • In British Columbia, Canadian clean energy company Huron Clean Energy and its partner Carbon Engineering Ltd have plans to create a revolutionary fuel for cars, airplanes, and ships. They are engineering a commercial facility that they say will produce usable fuel out of air. [EcoWatch]

Carbon Engineering pilot plant (Carbon Engineering image)

¶ “Huge $2.6 Billion Green Hydrogen Project Planned For Europe” • Spanish power company Iberdrola and a Swedish company, H2 Green Steel, are to partner and develop a €2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) facility that will produce green hydrogen. This is yet another example of how companies are taking an interest in the sector. [CNBC]

US:

¶ “Washington And Oregon Jack Up Their Electric Vehicle Leadership” • The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the US. Adopting the Clean Trucks Program in Oregon and the Advanced Clean Trucks and Zero Emission Vehicle Programs in Washington solidifies the West Coast as one of the world’s biggest EV markets. [CleanTechnica]

Cars and a beach (Shai Pal, Unsplash)

¶ “Banning US Oil Exports Would Be A ‘Gift To OPEC And Putin,’ Big Oil CEO Says” • President Joe Biden has already launched the biggest intervention into energy markets in a decade. But American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers told CNN that the powerful oil-and-gas trade group is “absolutely” taking the risk of an export ban seriously. [CNN]

¶ “Nevada To Power Clean Vehicles With Clean Electricity” • The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved a $100 million program to deploy charging stations for EVs along highways, in urban areas, at public buildings, in school and transit bus depots, and elsewhere. Increasingly, Nevada’s cars, trucks, buses, and boats will run on clean electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada (Tesla image)

¶ “Idaho Power Proposes New Clean Energy Options” • Sources of renewable energy keep showing up all across the Treasure Valley and the state of Idaho. To ensure customers know their requests are heard, Idaho Power proposed a new plan to expand its clean energy options. Idaho Power has a goal of providing 100% clean energy by 2045. [KTVB]

¶ “Plant Vogtle Project Hits Another Delay” • “Construction quality” issues mean the first of two new nuclear reactors being built in Georgia may not be completed before February 2023, according to Don Grace, vice president of engineering for the Vogtle Monitoring Group, wich was hired to evaluate project management. [Georgia Public Broadcasting]

Construction on the Vogtle plant (Georgia Power image)

¶ “Holtec Has Decided To Dump Radioactive Water Into Cape Cod Bay In Early 2022” • The company decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it plans to start discharging radioactive water from the plant into Cape Cod Bay sometime within the first three months of 2022. [Cape Cod Times]

¶ “Biden Wants Diablo Canyon To Remain Open” • The Biden Administration is encouraging the state of California to consider keeping Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open, rather than shutting it down by 2025, as planned. Diablo Canyon currently provides 10% of California’a electric power. PG&E is currently planning to close the plant. [Cal Coast News]

Have a rewardingly uncomplicated day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Tough Politics Around Oil And Gas Are Preventing Joe Biden From Being A Climate Hero” • Both environmentalists and the oil industry are slamming Interior Department report on federal oil and gas leasing released last week, but for different reasons. The report didn’t stress climate change, but it said oil and gas should pay more for leases on public lands. [CNN]

Oil leak in Philadelphia (James Lewis, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar – 3% Of US Electricity In 2020, 5% Next Year, And 20% In 2050?” • A report by the US Energy Information Administration sees solar jumping from 3% in 2019 to 5% in 2022. Then it takes until 2050 to get to 20%. Historically, the EIA has been okay at short-term forecasting, excellent at looking backwards, but horrible on the long term. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Magic Math Of Solar Plus Storage” • “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” seems to be the perfect description for the magic math for storage plus solar. The effective load-carrying capability (ELCC) of solar with storage is actually higher than the ELCC of solar plus the ELCC of storage. But it’s not magic – it’s the way the numbers add up. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Landmark Demonstration Shows How Common Wind Turbine Can Provide Fundamental Grid Stability” • A milestone demonstration by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and partner General Electric showed that the popular type-3 turbine technology can supply fundamental stability to the bulk power grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists Are Mapping Fungi To Combat Climate Change” • The Society for the Protection of Underground Networks, with scientists from six countries, is mapping underground networks of fungi to protect them from the threats of the climate crisis and improve their carbon-sink ability. It may be the first time such an effort has been undertaken. [NowThis News]

Winecap stropharia (Ann F Berger, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Fossil Fuel Plant Outages Pose Main Threat To Summer Power Supply As Renewables Bolster Grid” • The addition of almost 5 GW of renewable energy capacity will improve the resilience of Australia’s main electricity grid this summer, with outages from fossil fuel plants the main threat to supplies, the Australian Energy Market Operator says. [The Guardian]

¶ “Shell Scraps Plans To Develop Cambo North Sea Oilfield” • Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had scrapped plans to develop the Cambo oilfield in the British North Sea. The oilfield had become a lightning rod for climate activists seeking to halt the development of new oil and gas resources. But Shell cited economic reasons to stop development. [CNN]

Oil platform in the North Sea (Richard Child, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “GE Hitachi Nuclear to build small reactor in Canada” • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, an alliance between General Electric Co and Japan’s Hitachi Ltd will build a small modular nuclear reactor with Ontario Power Generation, the Canadian utility said. OPG will deploy the SMR at its site in Darlington. It expects to complete around 2028, the company said. [Reuters]

¶ “Mutenga Bamboo Introduces A New Range Of Bamboo Toothpicks, Pens, And Briquettes For Cooking And Heating In Zimbabwe” • Based in Nzvimbo Village, Mazowe, Zimbabwe, Rowen Meda’s Mutenga Bamboo uses bamboo, which matures much faster than indigenous trees, to make charcoal for cooking, heating, and curing tobacco. [CleanTechnica]

Bamboo (Clement Souchet, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “It’s December And It Hasn’t Snowed In Denver Yet. That’s Never Been Recorded” • Denver just broke a record for the latest date for a first snowfall that has held since snowfall records began in 1882. In all that time, Denver has never entered December without measurable snow. It’s been 224 days since it snowed a measurable amount in Denver. [CNN]

¶ “Data-Informed Analysis Reveals Energy Impacts Of Shared Micromobility” • Results of an NREL study show that shared micromobility (bikes, ebikes, scoooters, etc) can reduce energy consumption for passenger travel by 1% at the national level and 2.6% in cities. Those small percentages could save 2.3 billion gallons of gasoline per year. [CleanTechnica]

Scooter (Okai Vehicles, Unsplash)

¶ “Condo Association Bans Owners From Parking EVs In The Garage” • CleanTechnica received an interesting tip from a reader who is the owner of a condo in Keystone, Colorado. Their condo association at Keystone Resort informed them that EVs are not allowed to be parked or charged in their garage. She forwarded the email. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nordex Secures 300-MW Texas Job” • Nordex Group has secured a deal to supply 67 turbines for the 300-MW El Sauz onshore wind farm in Texas. The 4.5-MW turbines are due to be installed in summer 2022, with the agreement also including a premium service contract for the machines covering a period of five years, Nordex said. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Microsoft, Schneider Electric, And LG Solar USA Come Together For The Footprint Project” • The Footprint Project formed to help residents of Louisiana after Hurricane Ida. It announced it is partnering with Microsoft and Schneider Electric to deploy cloud-connected mobile microgrids to communities affected by climate disasters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NRC Accepts Application For Kairos Pebble-Bed Reactor Construction Permit” • The NRC will review Kairos Power’s construction permit application for its Hermes non-power demonstration reactor. The firm proposed to build it at the East Tennessee Technology Park Heritage Center site, in Oak Ridge, and begin operating by 2026. [Power Magazine]

Have an exquisitely chucklesome day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Anti-EV And Anti-Renewable Propaganda Keeps Evolving” • As Stella Levantesi and Giulio Corsi write in DeSmog, climate denial has been evolving into “a softer, more insidious type of misinformation. The new approach has its focus on denying urgency and action, and it targets the solutions more than anything else. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s EVs, solar, and batteries, targets of FUD (Image by Tesla)

¶ “Renewables Are Set To Soar” • New renewable electricity capacity will set another record this year, at 290 GW, a report from the International Energy Agency says. That’s equivalent to building hundreds of nuclear reactors, and it’s happening despite the global supply chain issues, the rising material costs, and the covid restrictions. [MIT Technology Review]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Mercedes-Benz And Stellantis Catch Solid-State EV Battery Fever” • A number of automakers have invested in solid-state EV battery R&D in recent months, including Daimler and Stellantis. This comes as the US startup Factorial Energy claims a 20 to 50% improvement in driving range over lithium-ion batteries along with safety improvements. [CleanTechnica]

Solid-state battery (Photo courtesy of Factorial Energy)

¶ “Zapping Cow Dung With Lightning Is Helping To Trap Climate-Warming Methane” • A Norwegian company found a way to stop livestock slurry from releasing methane – by zapping it with artificial lightning. A spokesman for N2 Applied said independent tests showed their technology reduces methane emissions from cow dung by 99%. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Europe Unveils Its $340 Billion Answer To China’s Belt And Road Infrastructure Initiative” • The EU unveiled a €300 billion ($340 billion) alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative. The EU claims their program will create “links, not dependencies.” The Global Gateway is aimed at helping the global recovery by mobilizing investments. [CNN]

Prague (Anthony Delanoix, Unspash)

¶ “Madagascar’s food crisis has been blamed on climate change. Scientists say that’s wrong” • A study by the World Weather Attribution initiative, an effort led by Imperial College London and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, found that a natural variation in the climate was most likely the main reason for the drought in Madagascar. [CNN]

¶ “Volta Gets Order For 1470 Electric Trucks From DB Schenker” • DB Schenker has over 74,200 people working at 2,100 locations in over 130 countries around the world. It just placed an order for 1,470 fully electric trucks manufactured by Volta. It will be the first company to use prototypes of the Volta Zero, starting in the spring of next year. [CleanTechnica]

Volta bus (Volta image)

¶ “Top Electric Vehicles In The World For October 2021” • In October 2021, global plugin vehicle registrations were up 70% from October 2020, scoring 589,000 units (or 8.8% share of the overall auto market). Market disruption is already happening in Europe and China, and we should see consistent disruptive levels on a global scale next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Even Cheaper Than Previously Thought” • Researchers at Oxford showed that early models consistently underestimated both how quickly the costs of renewable energy would fall and the benefits of a rapid switch to clean energy. Costs of renewables are falling far faster than expected, even as costs of energy from coal and nuclear rise. [GreenBiz]

Costs (Institute of New Economic Thinking image)

¶ “Affordable Dacia Spring Takes Pole As France Hits Record 23.5% Plugin EV Share” • November saw France, Europe’s second largest auto market, hit a record 23.5% plugin EV share, up 63% from 14.8% a year ago. Legacy diesels and plugless hybrids were stagnant at below 20% share, with petrol at just under 37% share. The Dacia Spring was the leading EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IEA Head: Gas Producers Are To Blame For Energy Crisis In Europe” • “The deliberate policies of energy producers” are to blame for the soaring gas and electricity prices in Europe, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, recently said at an industry event, in yet another lash-out at fossil fuel producers generally and Russia specifically. [Oil Price]

Natural gas flame (Kwon Junho, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Forecasting US Renewable Energy Adoption To 2050” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has just made its 2021 Standard Scenarios Outlook available. The number of scenarios was expanded, with three levels of power sector decarbonization added this year due to increased interest in reducing power sector emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How California Hydropower Plants Navigate Intense Drought” • Although drought conditions in California reduced the water supply, hydroelectric generation during the period from April to September 2021 still increased. This was because hydro ramped up generating in response to higher average hourly electricity prices in the late afternoon. [CleanTechnica]

Hoover Dam in 2017 (Mariordo, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Hewlett Packard Enterprise Selected For New Supercomputer” • Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced that it was selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a world leader in advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to build a supercomputer to support ongoing R&D on energy from renewable sources. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Texas Farmers And Ranchers Are Embracing Renewable Energy” • Among the many things that are bigger in Texas is the number of reasons why farmers and ranchers are embracing renewable energy, the Financial Times reports. Also, interest in small-scale systems has increased following the failure of the grid and gas system last winter. [EcoWatch]

Have a supremely goodly day.

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2021

World:

¶ “Amazon, Walmart And The World’s Biggest Retailers Are Making Port Congestion And Pollution Worse, New Report Finds” • The supply chain is facing major blockages. Container ships are heaping pollution into communities near the congested ports. The biggest offenders are, unsurprisingly, the world’s biggest retailers, a report says. [CNN]

Tanker sitting immobile (Shaah Shahidh, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Are Being Installed At Top Speed – But Still Far Too Slow To Fix The Planet, Energy Watchdog Says” • The growth of renewable energy is set to hit an all-time record this year, but is still falling “well short” of what is necessary to reduce planet-warming emissions in the way that is needed, according to the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

¶ “Air Quality: Delhi Records Worst November Air In Years” • Delhi recorded its worst November air in at least six years, according to official data. The city recorded 11 days of “severe” pollution, up from 10 days in November 2016. And the residents of Delhi didn’t experience even one “good” day of air quality in the entire month. [BBC]

Delhi (Mohd Aram, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “13% Of Auto Sales In Europe Were Fully Electric Vehicles In October” • More than 184,000 plugin vehicles were registered in Europe in October, which is up 26% year over year. This is in an overall auto market that is falling off a cliff – down 29%. Last month, 800,000 units were registered overall, the lowest number for October since the ’90s! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Battery-Electric Trains Coming To Germany” • Swiss train manufacturer Stadler received an order from three German regional railway operators for 44 electric trains. The two-part vehicles will go into passenger service on eight Southern and Western Palatinate railway lines beginning in December 2025, replacing the diesels, Stadler said. [CleanTechnica]

Battery-electric train (Image courtesy of Stadler)

¶ “Teslas And Other Electric Cars Take Switzerland By Storm” • Europe is going to EVs much faster than the US, and Switzerland is no exception. In October, plug-in vehicles accounted for 14% of the auto market. On my latest trip, I saw dozens of different EV models, including several that aren’t sold in the US, such as the VW ID.3 and the Renault Zoe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Kōwhai Park At Christchurch Airport To Generate Renewable Energy” • Christchurch Airport is committing 400 hectares to create a renewable energy park with a solar farm that will generate enough power for 30,000 New Zealand homes. The solar park will scale up over the next 30 years with the first phase having a 150-MW solar farm. [RNZ]

Concept rendering of Kōwhai Park (Supplied image)

¶ “Amazon Investing In 274 Renewable Energy Projects Globally, Adds Eighteen New Projects In Europe And US” • Amazon has announced eighteen new wind and solar energy projects in the US, Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, totaling 5.6 GW of capacity in 2021. Amazon is on a path to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. [Financial Post]

¶ “Majority Of World’s Oil And Gas Workers Want To Seek Employment In Renewable Energy Industry” • More than half of workers in the global oil and gas sector say they are interested in employment in the renewable energy industry. It is a promising development as experts say the pace of the worldwide transition to clean power must speed up. [Common Dreams]

Offshore oil rig (Jan-Rune Smenes Reite, Pexels)

US:

¶ “US Offshore Wind: Three Key Opportunities To Advance Equity” • According to NREL, the offshore wind industry has over 35,000 MW in various stages of development, and the Biden administration has set a goal of deploying 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030. Here are three critical opportunities for equitable deployment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Railroad Commission Chair Blames Renewable Energy For Unreliable Electric Grid” • The Texas Railroad Commission passed new weatherization rules for natural gas facilities. The chairman defended the industry against what he called attacks “by the media and the far left,” blaming renewable energy for last winter’s energy failure. Here, he is fact checked. [KXAN]

Brazos wind farm (Leaflet, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Democrats Push Tax Credits To Bolster Clean Energy” • Industry groups and experts see Democrats’ proposed clean energy tax credits as a major boost for alternative energy and tackling climate change. Modeling showed that credits in the Build Back Better package could as much as double the current record rate of renewable deployment. [The Hill]

¶ “Contracts Approved For Transmission Lines To Bring Renewable Power Into New York City” • A New York State agency approved two contracts to deliver solar, wind, and hydropower into New York City via new transmission lines. Now, the New York Public Service Commission is considering approval, subject to a public comment period. [S&P Global]

Lake Champlain (Chris Jones, Unsplash)

¶ “Lucerne Inn Switching To Community Solar Power, Saving Money On Electric Bill” • Most Mainers will see a significant increase in their electricity bills next year primarily due to rising natural gas prices globally. The Lucerne Inn in Dedham is connecting to community solar power to counter those rising electricity prices. [News Center Maine]

¶ “DOE Revives Consent-Based Siting Process for Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposal” • After failed efforts to address federal management of spent nuclear fuel, the DOE issued a request for information that could determine where the agency will temporarily consolidate and store spent fuel from nuclear reactors across the nation. [Power Magazine]

Have a thumpin’ good day.

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November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Driverless Cars Will Change Our World” • The promise of driverless technology has long been enticing. It has a potential to transform our experience of commuting and long journeys, take people out of high-risk work environments and streamline our industries. But in order for driverless technology to become mainstream, a lot needs to change. [BBC]

EasyMile EZ10 in Stolberg (Jacek Rużyczka, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “It Hasn’t Been A Lake For A Century. An Atmospheric River Just Made It One Again” • Another atmospheric river will stream into western Washington and parts of British Columbia this week. The region typically sees atmospheric river events in November. The problem this year is repeated systems with no breaks for drying in between. [CNN]

¶ “Tropical Cyclones In Asia Could Have Double The Destructive Power By The End Of Century, Study Finds” • Tropical cyclones in Asia could grow to have double the destructive power by the end of the century, according to research based on data from 1979 to 2016. Scientists say the human-made climate crisis has already made them stronger. [CNN]

Stormy weather (Neenu Vimalkumar, Unsplash)

¶ “Federal Government Lags Behind All Australian States On Renewable Energy Action, Report Finds” • Australia’s federal government was ranked behind all its states and the Northern Territory in the move toward clean energy, in a report. It shows Tasmania, New South Wales, and South Australia are leading the transition to renewables. [The Guardian]

¶ “Nissan Will Invest $18 Billion To Bring New EVs (And More Hybrids) To Market” • Nissan announced it has a new plan for its EVs. It is going to invest $18 billion over the next five years to bring out more electrified models. It says it will introduce fifteen battery EVs and eight models that feature the company’s ePower hybrid technology by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan ambition (Image courtesy of Nissan)

¶ “Landmark Green-Energy Exchange For Water Seen As A Win-Win For Israel And Arab Partners” • Israel, Jordan, and the UAE signed an energy-water deal that would see Israel supplied with renewable electricity from a 600-MW solar plant in Jordan in exchange for up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water from Israel. [Jewish News Syndicate]

¶ “It’s All Downhill For Alberta As Quality Discount Hits $14 Per Barrel” • Alberta may be best known for its oil sands, a very large reserve of hydrocarbons which must remain almost entirely in the ground because of global warming. Recent news was good for the climate, but bad for Alberta. It’s about peak oil and a steeply declining economy in Alberta. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack in a canola field (David Thielen, Unsplash)

¶ “Stellantis Signs Lithium Supply Agreement With Vulcan Energy” • Stellantis signed a binding agreement with Vulcan for lithium hydroxide in Europe for use in EVs, beginning in 2026. A Vulcan project in the Upper Rhine Valley uses geothermal energy to produce battery-quality lithium hydroxide from brine, with no fossil fuels used. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Japanese Island Will Reduce Power Sector Emissions To ‘Virtually Zero’ With Renewable Microgrid” • A tiny island in southern Japan, surrounded by a coral reef, will be able to use renewable energy as its main source of power, thanks to a microgrid with battery technology at its heart. CO₂ emissions will be “virtually zero.” [Energy Storage News]

Schematic of the project (Kyocera image)

¶ “Iran Nuclear Talks Resume” • Negotiators from several countries returned on Monday to the same hotel in Vienna where they signed a nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015. While US President Joe Biden signaled he wants to rejoin the deal that former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018, a US delegation is only indirectly involved. [WNG.org]

¶ “Wind Farms Produced Largest Share Of Electricity For First Time In Turkey” • On November 28, the wind power share of the Turkish electricity supply reached 22.6%, the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation said. Gas-fired power plants achieved a 22% share, followed by a 17.8% share by power plants fueled by imported coal. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Wind farm (tomasz66, Pixabay)

US:

¶ “Elon Musk Confirms: Tesla Employees Get Health Insurance, Stock, And Are Paid More Than Unionized Auto Workers” • In an interview, General Motors CEO Mary Barra got tough questions about whether Tesla employees got better compensation than those at GM. “This was not the case,” she said. But Elon Musk confirmed that it is the case. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Fuel For The Supersonic Air Force One Of The Future” • Green hydrogen may be great, but to make renewable fuel for jet engines, carbon is going to have to come into the picture somehow. The Air Force tapped energy company Twelve to deliver jet fuel produced from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the air. [CleanTechnica]

Vision of a next-generation Air Force One (Exosonic image)

¶ “120 Volt Heat Pump Water Heaters Hit The Market And Make Gas Replacements Even Easier” • A big change is coming for some homeowners, as 120-volt heat pump water heaters are set to hit the market, most by early next year. This allows people with gas water heaters to switch them out for upgrades that are less expensive and cleaner. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Looks To Extract Lithium For Batteries From Geothermal Waste” • At the moment nearly all the lithium used in the US for its energy storage batteries must be imported from China and other nations. But that trend could shift within two years if an efficient method is found to remove lithium from power plant waste in California. [Scientific American]

Have a highly amusing day.

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November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Will The EV Revolution Trigger Global Economic Crisis?” • The transition to EVs and renewable energy is already creating winners and losers. But fossil fuel industries keep investing vast sums to develop new oil and gas resources and infrastructure. There’s a real risk that in a few years they’ll be producing far more oil and gas than they can sell. [CleanTechnica]

Choice of what to maintain (Darius Soodmand, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla’s Business Model Has Created Disruptive Growth” • Tesla, best known for its EVs, has disrupted a legacy industry with a new business model and consumer approach. In mid-2016, under CEO Elon Musk’s leadership, Tesla adapted a corporate mission “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” It has evolved since then. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Understanding ‘Greenflation'” • “Greenflation,” or the costs associated with going green, may be a concern in the short-term in many industries, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, fellow at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, predicts. Nevertheless, the rising costs won’t be a long-term threat to the economic viability of clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Vista Wei, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Researchers Try Producing Potato Resistant To Climate Change” • University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes. Warmer temperatures and an extended growing season can lead to quality problems and disease, according to a professor of crop ecology and management. [Phys.org]

¶ “The Underwater ‘Kites’ Generating Electricity As They Move” • A pair of sleek, winged machines are “flying” – or swimming, at least – beneath the dark waters of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. Known as “sea dragons” or “tidal kites”, they look like aircraft, but they are in fact high-tech tidal turbines, generating electricity from ocean currents. [BBC]

Ship towing a tidal kite into position (Minesto image)

World:

¶ “Musk Says ‘No Thanks’ To German Battery Factory Subsidy For Tesla” • Early in 2021, the German government announced a program to subsidize battery factories. Tesla applied to the program, but has recently withdrawn its application. The reason for this may be partly based on Tesla pursuing other options that would render it ineligible. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Hyundai Ioniq 5 Electric Car Runs Away With German Car Of The Year Award” • Hyundai just won the German Car of the Year award for its Ioniq 5 battery EV. That’s a giant feather in the cap for the car maker, which has faced its share of criticism over the years. Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 is billed as a fully-electric midsize compact utility vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV (Hyundai Motors movie poster)

¶ “Innovative Hydrogen Storage Project Will Be Launched In Glasgow” • The UK government has given £9.4 million for the Whitelee green hydrogen project to construct the UK’s largest electrolyzer. The project will be near the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, near Glasgow. The funding came after the COP26 climate change meeting. [Nature World News]

¶ “TotalEnergies Launches Its Largest Solar Power Plant In France” • TotalEnergies has launched its largest PV solar power plant in France, with a capacity of 55 MW. The solar farm is northeast of Gien (Loiret) and has 126,000 PV panels spread out over 75 hectares (185 acres). The plant will produce around 64 GWh per year. [MarketWatch]

Solar farm (Zbynek Burival, Unsplash)

¶ “Aker Horizons Says Mainstream Renewable Power Funding Round Raised €90 Million” • According to Aker Horizons ASA, Mainstream Renewable Power raised €90 million ($101.7 million) to accelerate new market entries and the build-out of gigawatt-scale wind and solar assets across Latin America, Africa and the Asia Pacific region. [MarketWatch]

¶ “Nestlé Australia Switches To 100% Renewables With CWP Wind Farm Deal” • The Australian offshoot of global food giant Nestlé says it is switching to a 100% renewable energy supply after signing a 10-year power purchase agreement with CWP Renewables. The PPA is for energy from two wind farms with a combined capacity of 404 MW. [Renew Economy]

CWP wind farm (CWP photo)

¶ “Nuclear Talks Resume As West Asks Whether Iran Is Serious Or Stalling” • World powers and Iran will gather in Vienna to try to salvage their 2015 nuclear deal, but with Tehran sticking to its tough stance and Western powers increasingly frustrated, hopes of a breakthrough appear slim. Diplomats say time is running low to resurrect the pact. [Al Arabiya]

US:

¶ “US Seeks To Boost Oil Royalties To Account For Climate Change” • The Biden administration issued a long-awaited blueprint for overhauling oil and gas development on federal lands. The Interior Department report recommends higher fees and more limits on federal oil and gas leasing to better account for climate change. [World Oil]

Drilling rig ready to be towed to sea (Maria Lupan, Unsplash)

¶ “Community Systems Offer Alternative Paths For Solar Growth” • Larger than home rooftop systems but smaller than utility-scale complexes, they’re located atop buildings, or on abandoned factory grounds and farms. Individuals or companies subscribe to portions of energy sent to the grid and get credits that reduce their electricity bills. [USNews.com]

¶ “Climate change challenges Michigan’s power delivery” • Michigan utilities are struggling to provide reliable energy to customers as storms become more frequent and severe. This past summer, Consumers Energy replaced 1,600 utility poles in the aftermath of one especially bad storm, according to one of the the utility company officials. [The Daily Telegram]

Have a brilliantly fortunate day.

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November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Car FAQs: Do EVs All Use The Same Plug?” • Electric cars are mostly like regular cars. You step on the pedal on the right and the car goes, you turn the wheel and the car turns. 99% of the time the only difference is what kind of fuel goes into the car, but that last 1% is important. For that, you need to learn a bit, and it probably needs explaining. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt in an absurdly clean garage (GM image)

¶ “Transparent Solar Windows: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” • Researchers have worked on the challenge of using sunlight to generate electricity from see-through windows for years. Just look at any glass building and you can feel the possibilities blooming. There are many obstacles, but it looks like a real breakthrough may be at hand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power To X Highlights Process That Use Renewable Electricity To Create Products” • A Venture Taranaki paper explores creating more green energy than New Zealand may need, based on the current economy, to enable the economy to power-up and expand significantly into the manufacturing of green products to substitute carbon intensive ones. [Stuff.co.nz]

New Zealand (Casey Horner, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “China-Africa Cooperation Supports Africa’s Transition To Green Energy” • As the world is grappling with climate change in consensus to move to green energy, China-Africa’s renewable energy cooperation is bearing fruit. In various parts of Africa, China-Africa cooperation brings in clean electricity to boost the power supply. [Global Times]

¶ “MG Australia Gets It: If You Charge It, They Will Come” • MG, the seller of the second most popular electric car in Australia, the MG ZS EV, seems to have realized it must match the availability of Tesla’s almost ubiquitous chargers if it is going to improve on its sales figures in the country. And for getting to that goal, MG is a long, long way behind Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

MG chargers (From mgelectric.com.au)

¶ “Hydro Versus Batteries: Tasmania Pushes Its Undersea Cable Plan” • Tasmania has an abundance of hydroelectric power, quite a bit more than it needs. It would very much like to sell some of its excess electricity to the rest of Australia. But there’s a flaw in the Hydro Tasmania plan. The proposed Marinus Link would be up against big batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “5-Hectare Solar Park Being Built Along French Highway” • PV Magazine reports that Vinci Autoroute, a unit of Vinci Group, is partnering with Tryba Energy, a solar project specialist, to build a ground-mounted PV facility along the A19 highway. In total, the area encompasses 5 hectares. It is near the town of Chantecoq in northern France. [CleanTechnica]

Site of French solar highway (Vinci Construction image)

¶ “A Second Significant Deal For Nofar Energy In Poland’s Renewable Energy Market” • Nofar Energy announced a second significant deal in Poland. The company reported that it had purchased a portfolio of solar projects with a total capacity of 185 MW. The projects are acquired from Paged Real Estate, which will continue developing them. [Tech Times]

¶ “Canadian City Uses AI For Renewable Energy Optimization” • The city of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, partnered with BluWave-ai to optimize its smart grid and ensure integration and optimization of more distributed renewable energy resources. They tested an AI-based platform as part of the city’s living lab program. [Power Engineering International]

AI optimization (ThisisEngineering RAEng, Unsplash)

¶ “Nation Lacks Resources For A Nuclear Disaster: Report” • A disaster at a nuclear power plant in Taiwan could require the resettlement of up to 10 million people, a report said. Taiwan has less funds available and less robust disaster-response procedures than Japan in the event of a nuclear disaster, said Control Yuan member Tien Chiu-chin. [Taipei Times]

US:

¶ “Interior Department Report Finds Significant Shortcomings In Oil And Gas Leasing Programs” • The Department of the Interior released a report on federal oil and gas leasing and permitting practices, after a review of onshore and offshore oil and gas programs. The report identifies significant shortcomings that should be addressed. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig (Arvind Vallabh, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil Prices Are Gloomy, But The Energy Forecast Is Sunny In North Carolina” • Oil and gas prices are expected to climb this winter, and President Biden is tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But beyond the immediate price spikes for oil supplies, the prospect for cheaper and cleaner energy is literally sunny, especially in North Carolina. [Charlotte Observer]

¶ “2022 Massachusetts Solar Tax Credits And Other Incentives” • A couple of states stand out for green energy efforts. Despite not having the vast land of California or the year-round sun that Arizona has, the availability of a Massachusetts solar tax credit has long been a reason that this New England state is a top state for solar energy installations. [EcoWatch]

Have an extraordinarily hunky-dory day.

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November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Deceptive Charm Of Nuclear Power” • Green America is active by transitioning the US electricity mix away from its heavy emphasis on coal-fired and natural gas power. But all of that work will be wasted if we transition from fossil fuels to an equally dangerous source – nuclear power. Nuclear power is not a climate solution. [Colorado Daily]

Warning sign at Chernobyl (Ilja Nedilko, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Audi E-Tron 55 Quattro Software Updates Give 12-Mile Range Boost” • Owners of the 2019/2020 model year Audi e-tron 55 Quattro are getting an early holiday gift this year in the form of free software updates that boosts the car’s range … in the UK, anyway. The new software gives the car a full 12.4 miles of additional driving range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rolls-Royce Sets Electric Airplane Speed Record” • After years of work on a battery-electric airplane Rolls-Royce Aerospace put Spirit of Innovation to its first extended flight in November, with a goal to exceed 300 mph (483 km/h). It hit 387.4 mph and set records for speed and rate of climb. RR sent the records data to the certifying authority. [CleanTechnica]

Spirit of Innovation (Courtesy of Rolls-Royce Aerospace)

¶ “XPeng Plans 50% Global Sales, Debuts G9 SUV In Guangzhou” • XPeng has announced its intention to become a serious global automobile company that gets half of its sales outside China. The company’s chairman said it would invest more in international markets, and expects to enter Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Accepting Orders For Its ID.5 Coupe-Style SUV” • The Volkswagen ID.5 is basically an ID.4 with a stylish exterior. The company says it has only 12 mm less headroom for rear-seat passengers than the ID.4 but offers the kind of style buyers crave. In a press release, Volkswagen says customers can now place an order for an ID.5 online. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.5 (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Sustainable Marine To Deliver Atlantic Canada’s First Instream Tidal Energy In 2022” • Sustainable Marine is set to show that Nova Scotia can produce vast amounts of clean and predictable energy from its tidal streams, after completing construction of its substation at Grand Passage. It is due to be grid-connected early in 2022. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “China Adviser Says Energy Crisis Won’t Stall Climate Action” • China’s energy crisis won’t derail plans to make progress on curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the next few years, a top researcher involved in drafting proposals said. The 2025 energy blueprint will be centered on prioritizing renewables and energy efficiency, he said. [JWN Energy]

Beijing (zhang kaiyv, Unsplash)

¶ “UAE To Invest In Renewable Energy Projects Of 3 GW In Turkey” • The United Arab Emirates’ sovereign investment fund ADQ signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Turkish Presidency Investment Office that includes 3 GW of renewable energy projects. One project getting funds will have 1 GW of solar power capacity. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Offshore Wind Farms Could Make Nova Scotia An ‘Energy-Exporting Region'” • Offshore wind is increasingly becoming part of a low-carbon future and, according to promoters in Halifax this week, Nova Scotia is an ideal location thanks to shallow seabed areas that can anchor offshore turbines and – of course – plenty of wind. [Yahoo News Canada]

Offshore wind farm (RhinoMind, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Endesa To Invest $3.4 Billion To Increase Renewable Energy Capacity” • Spanish electric utility company Endesa has updated its Energy Transition strategy for 2022-24, under which it plans to invest €3.1 billion ($3.4 billion) to increase its renewable energy capacity to 12.3 GW. Endesa plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “$1.4 Billion Approved For Zero-Emissions Vehicles In California” • California is the leading electric vehicle state in the US both for the total number of EVs and public EV chargers, so it’s no surprise that the California Energy Commission approved $1.4 billion in funding to support zero emissions vehicles and the supportive infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

Zero-emissions school buses (California Energy Commission)

¶ “Biden Administration Calls For Hike In Federal Drilling Fees In Report That Largely Sidesteps Climate Issues” • The Interior Department released a review of oil and gas drilling on federal lands and oceans that recommends an increase in leasing fees. But it does not recommend one of President Biden’s election promises, a halt to drilling. [CNN]

¶ “Interior Department Approves Second Major Offshore Wind Project In US Federal Waters” • The Biden-Harris administration has a goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. As part of that, the Interior Department announced that it approved the construction and operations of the South Fork Wind project off Rhode Island. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Offshore wind turbines (Tho-Ge, Pixabay)

¶ “Fisker Secures Long-Term Battery Supply In CATL Deal” • Automotive design diva Henrik Fisker, who was best known for styling the BMW Z8 roadster, has been a big part of the EV and hybrid conversation for some time. Now, it looks as if he’s forged a deal with battery supplier CATL that will ensure he remains a big part of it for years to come. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Regenyx Confirms Transition To 100% Renewable Energy In Oregon Facility” • Circular recycling company Regenyx says it is using 100% renewable energy at its Oregon facility. The company is a joint venture of Agilyx Corp, a leader in recycling postuse plastics based in Oslo, and polystyrene producer AmSty, based in The Woodlands, Texas. [Recycling Today]

Have an impressively felicitous day.

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November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Britain’s Ancient Fortresses For Nature” • Though made by man, hedgerows form a vital reservoir of biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes where many species might otherwise struggle to survive. By nurturing pollinating insects, they can enhance the yield of crops. And they do it all while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. [BBC]

Hedgerow (Tony Hand, Unsplash)

¶ “Mining Nickel From Plants Is Possible And Could Cut CO₂ Emissions” • We eat plants every day for their mineral content, but actively growing plants that contain massive amounts of minerals such a nickel and extracting that mineral for industrial purposes? This is agro-mining, growing plants specifically to absorb metals from the soil. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Politicians Are Failing To Deliver Climate Justice. Lawyers And Scientists Could Do It In Court” • In the UK, three young climate activists are seeking to sue the prime minister and other cabinet members, claiming that slow climate action threatens not only their right to life, but also their right to family life, which they argue includes their relatives abroad. [CNN]

Foreign Minister Simon Kofe addressing the COP26 conference
from Tuvalu (Tuvalu Ministry of Justice image, via Facebook.)

¶ “German Government Deal: 2030 Coal Phaseout, But Plenty Of Questions Remain” • An accelerated 2030 coal phaseout is inevitable for Germany to meet the EU’s environmental, energy, and climate targets, and Paris Agreement goals. Also, coal profits have collapesed, coal is uneconomic, and subsidizing it would be an intolerable waste of public money. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Twiggy Forrest Pushing To Redirect Australia’s Diesel Rebate To Fund Green Hydrogen” • Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest, non-executive chairman of Fortescue Metals, has managed to upset farmers and miners alike by privately lobbying the Australian government to divert fossil fuel subsidies away from them and towards “green” hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

Outback in New South Wales (Elsa Guyader, Unsplash)

¶ “MG Motor India’s Halol Facility To Use Wind-Solar Hybrid Power From February 2022” • MG Motor India has joined hands with CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions for the supply of 4.85 MW of wind-solar hybrid power to its manufacturing facility in Halol. The facility is expected to begin drawing the solar plant’s electricity in February of 2022. [India.com]

¶ “Madeira Island Will Reach 50% Renewable Energy With New Battery Storage System” • The Portuguese island of Madeira will be able to reduce its fossil fuel use radically while keeping its electricity supply stable and reliable, thanks to battery energy storage system technology. The battery system capacity is to be 22.5 MVA, 15.6 MWh. [Energy Storage News]

Rendering of the battery project (Siemens image)

¶ “Australia Passes Legislation To Develop Offshore Wind Energy Industry” • Australia is set to be the next country to incorporate offshore wind energy into its efforts to expand its renewable power supply. After years of advocacy by environmentalists, Parliament approved laws to support the offshore electricity infrastructure. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ “Estonia To Invest Heavily In Renewables, Bring Power Prices Down Long-Term” • Estonia has organised a reverse auction of 450 GWh of power from renewable energy resources. The country recognizes that high energy prices are related to dependence on fossil fuels, according to the Estonian public broadcaster ERR. [Baltic News Network]

Wind turbines (distelAPPArath, Pixabay)

¶ “Tepco Finds Melting Of Ice Wall At Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Plant” • Tokyo Electric Power Co will launch remedial works at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to strengthen an ice wall intended to halt the flow of groundwater after testing indicated partial melting. The work could begin as early as the start of December. [Yahoo]

¶ “Greek €2.27 Billion Aid Scheme For Renewables Approved By EU” • The European Commission has approved, under the EU’s state aid rules, the Greek support mechanism of €2.27 billion for the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and high-efficiency combined heat and power with a combined capacity of 4.2 GW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Solar array (fabersam, Pixabay)

US:

¶ “Rivian Encounters ‘Production Hell.’ R1S Deliveries Pushed Back 3 Months – Or More” • A few years ago, Tesla experienced what Elon Musk called “production hell,” as it struggled to ramp up manufacturing of the Model 3. Now Rivian is having a similar problem getting its R1S electric SUV out the door and into the hands of customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Gridtractor Launches Fleet Electrification For Farmers” • Gridtractor set its sites on electrifying the world’s fleet of tractors and diesel-powered farm equipment a decade ago. There is now an opportunity to get this transformation rolling. Farmers resonate profoundly with the idea of producing their own fuel and saving up to 75% in fuel costs. [CleanTechnica]

Bringing in the hay (Gozha Net, Unsplash)

¶ “FLO Installs The Northernmost Fast Chargers In North America” • If Santa ever trades in his reindeer for battery power, he might rest easier knowing there’s a public charging station conveniently close to home. That’s because FLO installed a pair of DC fast chargers in Fairbanks, Alaska. FLO charging stations are certified to operate at -40°. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southern Celebrates Glass Sands Success In Oklahoma” • Southern Power has brought online the 118MW Glass Sands wind farm in Murray County, in Oklahoma. The project, Southern Power’s 15th wind facility, is the company’s fifth in Oklahoma. Glass Sands consists of 28 Vestas turbines. It has a power purchase agreement with Amazon. [reNews]

Have a relaxingly upbeat day.

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November 25 Energy News

November 25, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Bright Future For Landfill Solar – Yes, Landfill Solar” • There are over 10,000 closed landfills in the US. A report from the RMI, The Future of Landfills Is Bright, estimates that 4,312 of these sites alone – those for which adequate data is available – could host at least 63 GW of solar capacity. That is enough to power about 7.8 million homes. [CleanTechnica]

Landfill solar (From ‘The Future of Landfills is Bright’)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Cellular Agriculture Could Be The Future Of Farming” • Raising livestock contributes a significant proportion of the food industry’s climate emissions, but now scientists and a growing number of companies are hoping that growing meat from cell cultures in laboratories may offer a solution. They are working on everything from beef to fish. [BBC]

¶ “The Arctic Ocean Began Warming Decades Earlier Than Previously Thought, New Research Shows” • A study published in Science Advances found that the expansion of warm Atlantic Ocean water flowing into the Arctic has caused Arctic water temperature in the region studied to increase by around 2°C since 1900. [CNN]

Ship in the Arctic (Hubert Neufeld, Unsplash)

¶ “Big Batteries On Wheels Can Deliver Zero-Emissions Rail While Securing The Grid” • Diesel freight trains emit 35 million metric tons of CO₂ annually and produce air pollution that leads to $6.5 billion in health costs and an estimated 1,000 premature deaths each year. With the dramatic decline in battery prices, freight trains can be electrified. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Renewables To Drive Down Prices As Fossil-Fuel Generators Exit Australian Electricity Market” • Growth in renewable generating capacity and big batteries is expected to drive down household power bills in Australia’s National Electricity Market in the coming years even as several of Australia’s ageing fossil-fuel fired power stations close. [PV Magazine]

Solar farm (Tranex Solar image)

¶ “Government Announces £20 Million For Tidal Power Schemes” • Tidal energy will be backed by £20 million per year of Government investment as part of the shift away from fossil fuels. The UK’s Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said tidal power could be a key part of the “next generation of renewable electricity projects.” [Yahoo News UK]

¶ “SSE Renewables, Equinor Sign Power Purchase Agreements For Dogger Bank C” • SSE Renewables and Equinor, the joint venture partners co-developing the 3.6-GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea, have signed a 15-year offtake power purchase agreement for the third phase of the offshore wind farm. [North American Windpower]

GE Haliade-X wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Nuclear Energy Can’t Solve Global Warming, Will Strain Financial, Natural Resource” • Power and policy analyst Shankar Sharma said the IAEA’s “unsubstantiated advocacy” of nuclear power is associated with “diversion of considerable amounts of scarce resources, both financial as well as natural, of many developing countries, such as India.” [Counterview]

¶ “Gas Leak At Spanish Nuclear Power Plant Leaves One Dead And Three People In Hospital” • A gas leak at a Spanish nuclear power plant has left one person dead and three people in hospital, local emergency services said. The carbon dioxide leak happened at the Ascó nuclear power plant, which is around 80 miles west of Barcelona. [Daily Mail]

Ascó nuclear power plant (Willtron, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “White House Creates New Climate-Focused Division Within Office Of Science And Technology Policy” • Underscoring its commitment to tackling the climate crisis, the White House announced it has created a new climate-focused division within its Office of Science and Technology Policy and tapped Stanford professor Sally Benson to lead it. [CNN]

¶ “San Francisco Declares A Water Shortage Emergency And Urges Residents To Cut Usage” • California has had a rough year, suffering through high temperatures and low precipitation, both driven by the climate crisis. Because of this, San Francisco has declared a water shortage emergency and is calling for a 10% reduction across its regional system. [CNN]

Low water level at Lake Powell (Scotwriter21, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Federal Officials Green-Light Wind Farm Off Coast Of Rhode Island In Quest To Expand Renewable Energy” • Federal officials are green-lighting plans for a wind farm off the Rhode Island coast as the Biden administration aims to grow renewable energy capacity. The South Fork wind farm will provide enough power for 70,000 homes on Long Island. [CNN]

¶ “Utilities Seek OK From West Virginia Regulators For Five Solar Projects” • Mon Power and Potomac Edison have asked the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to approve five solar energy projects spread through the companies’ service territory in the state. Together, the facilities would generate 50 MW of renewable energy. [pv magazine USA]

West Virginia’s New River Bridge (dafacct, pixabay)

¶ “Coltura Poll: US Voters Support Full Transition To EVs By 2030” • In a national poll by Coltura, an environmental group focused on phasing out the use of gasoline, US voters said they support a full transition to EVs by 2030. The strong voter support reflects the concerns of the impacts of localized air pollution as well as the climate crisis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pilgrim Nuclear Plant May Release A Million Gallons Of Radioactive Water Into Bay. What We Know” • One of the options being considered by the decommissioning company working on the closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is to release around one million gallons of potentially radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay. [Cape Cod Times]

Have a joyously glad day.

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November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Will Russia Ever Leave Fossil Fuels Behind?” • In Russia, oil and gas provided 39% of the federal budget revenue and made up 60% of Russian exports in 2019. The share of all fossil fuel rents (the price of fossil fuels minus the cost of producing them) amounted to 14% of GDP that year. The country is very aware of the climate crisis, but will that help? [BBC]

Kremlin (Michael Parulava, Unsplash)

¶ “In Midst Of Climate Crisis, Focus On Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Not Elon Musk’s Wealth From Shares Of Transformative Companies” • I’ve seen lots of vehement Twitter posts regarding Elon Musk, Tesla, subsidies, and a government loan that Tesla repaid American taxpayers with interest. The real target should be on the fossil fuel industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Deception Continues As Companies Hide Behind Fake Environmental Promises” • Companies run zero emissions ad campaigns that arose from public pressure to reject the fossil fuel industry. But behind the scenes, those same companies continue to maintain the same long-standing relationships that perpetuate carbon-emitting practices. [CleanTechnica]

Nodding donkeys (NASA, open source)

World:

¶ “16% Plugin Vehicle Share In Chinese Auto Market!” • Plugin vehicles are getting to be all the rage in China, having scored 325,000 registrations in October, up 113% year over year. That’s an especially impressive performance when we consider that the overall market was down 5%. And it pulls the year-to-date tally to over to 2.3 million units. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “British People Are More Concerned Than Ever About Climate, Ahead Of Covid And Brexit, Poll Shows” • People in the UK think that climate change, pollution and the environment are together the most important issues they face, well ahead of the pandemic, the impacts of Brexit, and the country’s troubled National Health Service, a poll from Ipsos MORI shows. [CNN]

Cottage in Plymtree, Devon (Derek Harper, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Egyptian Green Hydrogen Project Awards Contract” • Scatec and its partners, OCI NV, Fertiglobe, The Sovereign Fund of Egypt, and Orascom Construction have selected Plug Power as the electrolyser technology provider for a 100-MW green hydrogen facility in Egypt. The electrolyser is expected to be the world’s largest when it comes online. [reNews]

¶ “Power Producers Had To Pay To Send Electricity Into South Australia Grid” • Big plants in SA had to pay to operate when the state “became the first gigawatt scale grid in the world to reach zero operational demand when the combined output of rooftop solar and other small non-scheduled generators exceeded all the local customer load requirements.” [CleanTechnica]

Wattle Point wind farm (ScottDavis, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “PLN To Offer 1.2 GW Of New And Renewable Energy Projects” • Indonesian electricity company PLN will tender 21 new and renewable projects for the 2021-2022 procurement period. The energy minister said the projects are estimated to have a total generating capacity of 1.2 GW and are part of a procurement plan for 2021-2030. [The Jakarta Post]

¶ “The Silent Strength Of Indigenous Renewable Energy Micro-Grids” • For the first time since the 1970s, silence descended on the tiny, isolated village of Old Crow in Canada’s Arctic in August. The incessant drone of a diesel generator was silenced for the first time in decades as the nation brought its micro-grid online, powered by solar energy. [Yahoo News Canada]

Old Crow, Yukon (Murray Dewing, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “RWE Building 117-MW Battery Storage System In Germany” • RWE is building one of the largest battery storage systems in Germany, with a capacity of 117 MW. Set to be installed in Lower Saxony, the project will provide new services including grid stability to support fluctuations in energy supply in addition to simple energy storage. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶ “Biden Announces Release Of Oil Reserves, But Says Gas Prices Will Not Drop Overnight” • President Joe Biden announced the release of emergency oil reserves to combat high energy prices, though it will take weeks to affect the price, he said. The DOE will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the White House said. [CNN]

Tank farm at McMurdo Station, Antarctica (NOAA image)

¶ “White Households In US Emit Most Carbon Despite Greater Energy Efficiency” • Researchers from McGill University and the University of Michigan found that even though energy-efficient homes are more often found in white neighborhoods, carbon emissions from these neighborhoods are higher than in African American neighborhoods. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Leeward Secures Financing For 145-MW Panorama” • Leeward Renewable Energy has closed construction financing and secured tax equity commitments for its 145-MW Panorama wind farm in Colorado. The Panorama wind project’s construction has already commenced, and it is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022. [reNews]

Wind farm (Leeward image)

¶ “Utilities And Financial Investors Are Investing In Renewables, Especially Hydrogen, Like Never Before” • Ernst & Young released a report detailing transactions in power and utilities for Q3 2021. It shows that utilities are putting significant financial support behind their environmental, social, and governance initiatives. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “US Hits Davis-Besse Nuclear Plant In Ohio With 5 Safety Violations” • The NRC has released of a 65-page report outlining more problems at Energy Harbor’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ottawa County, Ohio. Its contents were described as “deeply disturbing” by one of America’s most high-profile nuclear watchdogs. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Have a seriously merry day.

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November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Outlook On The Renewable Energy Infrastructure” • The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies is inevitable for the energy sector, but it looks to be similar territory for investors in the long term. Current contracts for renewable energy are structured almost identically to those in the current energy infrastructure industry. [Nasdaq]

Wind turbines (Pexels, CC0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rivers Are ‘Rising’ Due To Climate Change And Play A Role In Coastal Floods” • People who live far away from coastal areas could still be affected by floods caused by climate change due to changes in rivers, according to a study. University of South Carolina scientists showed that climate change has caused more effects of river flooding. [Yahoo News]

¶ “World’s First Autonomous Electric Container Ship Completed Its First Trip” • Yara Birkeland, the world’s first all-electric and emission-free container ship has completed its maiden voyage in Norway. Birkeland has traveled for about 8.7 miles (14 km) from Porsgrunn to the port of Brevik, according to a press release from its maker, Yara. [Interesting Engineering]

Yara Birkeland (Yara image)

World:

¶ “Portugal’s Power Production Goes Coal-Free Long Before Deadline” • Portugal shut down its last remaining coal plant over the weekend, ending the use of the polluting material for electricity generation. It is the fourth country in the EU to do so. Belgium, Austria and Sweden had already stopped using coal for power generation. [CNN]

¶ “Australia Declares La Niña Weather Event Has Begun” • A La Niña event has developed for the second year in a row, Australia said. This means there is a greater risk of floods and cyclones. Last time the La Niña contributed to “once in a century” rains in parts of Australia, but the phenomenon has significant weather effects across the world. [BBC]

Flood in Australia (Advanstra, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Can South Africa Embrace Renewable Energy From The Sun?” • South Africa’s state power utility Eskom, Africa’s biggest carbon emitter, has a $10 billion plan to close most of its coal-burning power stations by 2050 and embrace renewable energy. Other countries promised $8.5 billion to help, but Eskom is staggering under a $27 billion debt burden. [BBC]

¶ “Without Support For Renewable Energy General Motors Won’t Invest In Mexico” • General Motors CEO in Mexico, Francisco Garza, said that GM and other companies won’t invest in Mexico in the short and medium term without a legal and structural framework that supports the production of renewable energy. [Mexico News Daily]

¶ “Husk Power Systems Provides Clean Energy For Rural People In Developing Countries” • Electricity is scarce in the rural parts of the poorest countries, and where it exists, it is powered mostly by diesel. Husk Power Systems is trying to change that. It puts in the power systems and charges people only for the energy they use, with no up-front cost. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Chevy Bolt Production Halted Through End Of 2021” • Some Chevy Bolt EVs have problems with batteries, and GM has issued a recall. It stopped production to deal with the issue in new cars, but it restarted for a brief while to replace recently recalled cars. Now it has told the plant’s employees that the plant will be closed for the rest of the year. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt (Image courtesy of GM)

¶ “Electric Vehicle Education Increases Likelihood Buyers Will Consider Purchasing EVs” • Pew Research Center conducted a survey of over 13,700 US adults in April 2021. A more recent examination of the numbers shows that those people who had learned about EVs were much more likely to buy one than those who knew little about them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden’s Infrastructure Act Bets Big On Three Types Of ‘Green’ Energy Tech” • A report from Princeton University’s ZERO Lab shows that by itself, the signed infrastructure package won’t do much to bring down the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The package backs hydrogen (in ways mostly not ‘green’), carbon capture, and nuclear power. [Popular Science]

Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut (JJBers, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Several Renewable Energy Plants To Open In Astoria” • A part of the Astoria Energy Complex, which had once generated power via fossil fuels, will be transformed into an emissions-free converter station through a project that was announced by New York Governor Kathy Hochul in September. The electricity will come from Canadian hydropower. [Sunnyside Post]

¶ “Ørsted Acquires 302-MW Illinois Wind” • Ørsted has acquired the 302-MW Lincoln Land onshore wind farm in Illinois from funds managed by Ares Management’s Infrastructure and Power strategy. Lincoln Land reached commercial operation last week. The project is fully contracted by power purchase agreements with McDonald’s and Meta (Facebook). [reNews]

Lincoln Land wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Caterpillar To Launch Demonstration Project Using Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology” • Caterpillar Inc has launched a three-year project with collaboration with Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems to demonstrate a power system with a large hydrogen fuel cell to produce reliable and sustainable backup power for data centers. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “First Solar Gets Multi-Year Orders For 5.4 GW Of Modules” • First Solar announced that global solar leader Lightsource bp and integrated energy company bp have placed multi-year orders for up to 5.4 GW combined of First Solar PV solar modules. There are firm orders for about 4.4 GW of modules, with options for another 1 GW. [Energy Industry Review]

Have a majestically exquisite day.

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November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Why Schools Are Failing Children On Climate Change” • Ever since Greta Thunberg started her campaign on climate change, children have been taking center stage in the fight against a rapidly warming world. And as they do, many are pushing for schools to add climate change to their curriculum. In some places, that is not easy. [BBC]

Student in Indian school (Nikhita S, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Model A – The Tesla Mini Car We Want To See” • Do you remember back in 2018 when Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla was working on a mini car that could “squeeze in an adult?” Sadly, years have passed and we have yet to see a mini Tesla EV come into production. But what would a Tesla mini car look like? Here, we take a look at one possibility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Comic Relief Department: Shell CEO Says The Best Way To Finance Clean Energy Is To Consume More Oil” • Climate scientists agree that we have to stop burning fossil fuels very soon, to avoid climate catastrophy. Not slightly reduce it – end it. Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell, says the best way to finance that is by buying oil. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig (Photo courtesy of Pixabay/Pexels, CC0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “UN Highlights Ultra-Low Carbon Footprint Of Nuclear And Renewables” • The UN Economic Commission for Europe identified nuclear as the lowest carbon electricity source and the low carbon technology with the lowest impacts on land use and mining and metal use. The report said it has a fractionally lower carbon footprint than renewables. [Business Green]
(The assessment calculated the carbon footprint of an unknown – and unknowable – way to deal with waste. It has other issues.)

¶ “Can The Sun’s Eleven-Year Cycle Explain Global Warming?” • Climate sceptics have long argued that solar activity can explain global warming. The finding of a controversial near 11-year cycle in solar activity prompted comparison with a similarly long cycle related to climate change. A study published in Climate Dynamics found they do not match. [SciTechDaily]

Sunrise (Dawid Zawiła, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “‘Greenflation’ A Risk For Renewable Energy, But Long-Term Viability Intact” • Rising prices of commodities needed for renewable energy will increase the costs of setting up new green power projects, but his will be balanced by better access to funds and economies of scale, a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development officer said. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Asia-Pacific Investors Toast 40-MW Vietnamese Wind” • The Blue Circle and its partner ACEN have completed the 40-MW second phase of the Mui Ne wind farm in Binh Thuan province, south Vietnam. The project features eight 5-MW turbines. They are the first turbines to use blades in two pieces assembled on site, the developers said. [reNews]

Wind turbine in Vietnam (Image by The Blue Circle)

¶ “Shell Increases Stake In Australia’s Electricity Market With Powershop Takeover” • Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell has expanded its presence in Australia’s electricity market, buying retailer Powershop from New Zealand’s Meridian Group as part of a $729 million deal that may upset some customers who want to avoid fossil fuel companies. [The Guardian]

¶ “Greek Developer Targets 90-MW Polish Wind Farm” • Greek developer Terna Energy is developing four wind farms in Poland with a total capacity of 90 MW. All four wind projects are in the licensing stage and Terna Energy will build and operate them. The developer already runs eight wind farms in Poland with a total installed capacity of 102 MW. [reNews]

Wind farm (Anastasia Palagutina, Unsplash)

¶ “Nofar Energy Enters Poland’s Renewable Energy Market With Significant Initiative” • Nofar Energy is expanding its global traction by entering Poland’s renewable energy market. The company reported that Nofar Europe and Electrum SP ZOO formed a joint venture to develop and manage PV and wind energy projects of up to 1,250 MW. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “BASF, Covestro Clinch Renewable Energy Deals In China To Achieve Emission-Reduction Goals” • In China, energy-intensive multinational chemical companies are getting renewable energy supplies to help them keep up with decarbonization demands as part of their global climate commitments. BASF and Covestro are examples. [South China Morning Post]

Shanghai (Li Yang, Unsplash)

¶ “Major Chinese-French Wind Power Project In Jiangsu Linked To Grid” • A major Chinese-French wind power project has been completed ahead of schedule and was connected to the power grid in Dongtai, East China’s Jiangsu Province. It is a significant step in renewable energy cooperation between Chinese and foreign companies. [Global Times]

US:

¶ “The On Again, Off Again Apple Car Project Is Back On Again, Again” • For almost 7 years, Apple has threatened to build a car, presumably an EV. Project Titan’s leadership has changed many times in that time, we’ve had little hard information, and the project recently looked dead. Insiders now say Apple’s goal is fully autonomous cars by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Apple and elusive cars (Andy Wang, Unsplash)

¶ “Build Back Better Plans Ambitious Growth For Renewables” • The ‘Build Back Better’ bill has passed in the House. Its budget reconciliation framework is $1.75 trillion, with $555 billion for the climate and clean energy, the largest amount ever. Now, it will go to the Senate, where moderate Democrats are not entirely happy with it. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Consumers Energy To Add Clean Energy From Three Solar Projects” • Michigan utility company Consumers Energy says it will add enough renewable energy through three solar projects in 2023 to power nearly 190,000 homes. The company says the projects in the southern-central part of the state are expected to produce 375 MW of clean energy. [WZZM 13]

Have an incomparably pleasing day.

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November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Revisiting Elon Musk’s 2018 Predictions On Tesla’s Market Cap” • Remember the compensation plan that Tesla unveiled back in 2018? At the time, the New York Times called it “perhaps the most radical in corporate history,” and its “experts” called “laughably impossible. It was based on the company being worth $1 trillion by 2028. [CleanTechnica] (Heh!)

Tesla (Michael Förtsch, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Petrol Rations After Canada Storm” • British Columbia is rationing petrol over fuel shortage fears after a major storm cut off road and rail links. The province issued travel restrictions and rations on petrol, just days after declaring a state of emergency. Canadian Armed Forces personnel are moving in to help with recovery efforts in the region. [BBC]

¶ “How Morocco Went Big On Solar Energy” • Morocco has a huge natural potential to produce solar, wind, and hydropower, and has taken significant steps to realize it. Morocco’s action on climate change dates back to the mid-2000s, when the country decided to become a regional leader in clean energy and to push forward massive renewables projects. [BBC]

Noor III Solar Tower (Marc Lacoste, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “China’s Installed Capacity Of Renewable Energy Reaches One Billion Kilowatts: NEA” • At the end of October, China’s installed capacity for renewable energy reached one billion kW, according to the country’s National Energy Administration. It said that 43.5% of China’s total installed generating capacity is now renewably powered. [Global Times]
(Please note that the numbers in this article don’t add up.)

¶ “Tasmania Is Pursuing 200% Renewable Energy, But Not Everyone Is Sold On The Path To Get There” • An investment in a wind farm will help Tasmania reach the government’s target of generating 200% of the state’s energy with renewable resources by 2040 and supply energy to the mainland. Local anti-wind activists oppose the plan, however. [ABC]

Cape Grim wind farm (Ian Cochrane, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Path To Net-Zero Emissions Runs Through US Buildings” • In support of the ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050, the DOE and the General Services Administration have issued a request for information to identify technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Senior Pentagon Official Warns The US Military Is ‘Not Ready’ For Climate Change” • A senior Pentagon official warned the US military is “not ready” to handle climate change, a security issue that touches nearly every aspect of planning at the Pentagon. It is not just about ice melting and seas rising. It is about trade routes, supply chains, and much more. [CNN]

No longer functional (Error 420, Unsplash)

¶ “Ford Romance With Rivian Cools As Bromance Heats Up With Volkswagen” • According to Automotive News, after Ford invested $1.2 billion in Rivian, the two have decided to end their development relationship and focus on their own EVs. Ford is keeping its shares in Rivian, but has signed a new deal with Volkswagen to develop an EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Macrogrid Study: Big Value In Connecting America’s Eastern And Western Power Grids” • In the US, the eastern grid has a generating capacity of 700,000 MW and the western has 250,000 MW. They have transmission lines to share 1,320 MW, which is not all that much. Better lines to share power would benefit both of them, a study says. [EurekAlert!]

Interconnections Seam Study (NREL image)

¶ “NASA Wants To Put A Nuclear Reactor On The Moon. Got Any Ideas?” • NASA wants to put a nuclear fission power plant on the Moon and is accepting proposals for an initial system design, according to reports. Solar power seems not to be sufficient for their needs, probably because they are looking at nuclear power as a step along the way to Mars. [The Federal]

¶ “$4 Billion Advanced Nuclear Power Demo Set At Wyoming Coal Plant Site” • TerraPower LLC’s demonstration of its Natrium advanced nuclear reactor in Wyoming is now projected to cost $4-billion. Earlier this year, it said the cost would be $1 billion. It said the reason for the increase was that demonstration projects cost more. [Engineering News-Record]

Have a day of wonderful possibilities.

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November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “A Look At China’s Largest Coal Mine And China’s Coal Lie (Video)” • ADVChina, a YouTube channel that focuses on the adventure lifestyle and exploring China, shared an in-depth look at one of China’s largest open-pit coal mines. The hosts of the channel held a discussion about China’s obsession with coal. The video is very informative. [CleanTechnica]

ADVChina hosts (Screenshot via Youtube)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Recent Aptera Video Gives Us A Peek At Its Repairable Guts” • A video by Aptera shows us that the company is committed to making the vehicle repairable by normal people. It also gave us a peek at how some of that is actually going to happen. These are development vehicles, but it appears that the Aptera is going to have some underbelly access. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Real-Life ‘Lego’ Wind Turbines Coming Soon To A Wind Farm Near You” • Denmark happens to be the home base of both the leading wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and the toymaker Lego. Vestas seems to be taking a page out of Lego’s modularity book to help accelerate the pace of manufacturing wind turbines and drop the costs, too. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbines (Photo courtesy of Vestas)

¶ “Beginning Of The End Of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? (Video)” • The Ocean Cleanup achieved proof of technology at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and is ready to return to begin cleanup. In celebration of this milestone, a marine parade welcomed the offshore crew in Canada. The video captures just a bit of that celebration. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “How cities are going carbon neutral” • More than half of the world’s population currently live in cities, and cities are the sources of 60% of our greenhouse gas emissions. But cities are also becoming leaders in the fight against climate change. They are adopting aggressive strategies to reduce both global warming emissions and other pollutants. [BBC]

Cyclists in Amsterdam (Noralí Nayla, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Drivers Left Unable To Start Their Cars After Outage” • Some Tesla drivers say they have been locked out of their cars after an outage struck the carmaker’s app. Dozens of owners posted on social media about an error message on the mobile app that was preventing them from connecting to their vehicles. The problem has reportedly been addressed. [BBC]

¶ “Teslas Multiplying In The ‘Burbs Of Australia” • It wasn’t long ago when my Model 3 was the only Tesla in Bracken Ridge, a suburb of Brisbane. Then it was the only Model 3. Then it was the only red Model 3. Those days are over, as Teslas multiply out in the suburbs. Things are changing. Bracken Ridge is not part of the yuppie wealth belt. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Robin van Geenen, Unsplash)

¶ “GM Flags Concern Over Renewable Energy In Mexico, Sees Investment Risk” • A senior executive of carmaker General Motors raised concern about the future of renewable energy usage in Mexico. He said that without a solid legal basis for renewables, automotive investment in Latin America’s number 2 economy would suffer. [Investing.com]

¶ “India’s State Coal Companies Target Installing 5.56 GW Renewable Power By 2030” • India’s state-run coal companies aim to install 5.56 GW of renewable capacity by 2030 and take other measures designed to reduce CO₂ emissions, to meet pledges made at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow, the Ministry of Coal said. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Wind farm, Tamil Nadu (Raj, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Japanese Island Ditches Diesel For Microgrid Renewables” • Plans are underway for a microgrid that will combine renewable generating capacity and batteries for tiny Okinoerabu Island in the southern part of Japan. Detailed plans for the project are due to be completed by the end of March 2022, with construction to start soon thereafter. [Microgrid Knowledge]

US:

¶ “Ford Doubles EV Production Plans And GM Books 18,000 BrightDrop Order” • Ford CEO Jim Farley announced on Twitter that his company is doubling its EV production goal to 600,000 vehicles by 2023. General Motors is moving on its own plans to build BrightDrop battery electric delivery vans. It already has one order for 12,600 EV600 vans. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

¶ “New Mexico Co-Op Dumps Monopoly Supplier To Offer More Solar” • Rural areas are sometimes isolated, disconnected from modern conveniences and the latest technologies. The digital divide is real, but one New Mexico cooperative is proving to be an exception, as it connects customers to affordable solar energy and reliable Internet service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “House Passes Build Back Better Act In US” • The House of Representatives has passed the Build Back Better Act, which includes support for clean energy and contains several provisions that directly impact the offshore wind industry. The legislation includes long-term clean energy tax credits. It is now going to the Senate for consideration. [reNews]

US Capitol (US Government, public domain)

¶ “Intersect Secures €2.3 Billion For US Clean Power Push” • The developer Intersect Power has secured €2.3 billion ($3.09 billion) in financing for the construction and operation of a six-project renewable portfolio in the US totaling 2200 MW. The generating capacity includes late-stage solar projects and 1.4 GWh of storage that will be in operation by 2023. [reNews]

¶ “Southern Co To Build Landmark Small Nuclear Reactor” • Southern Co announced plans to build a small, experimental nuclear reactor in Idaho using technology from TerraPower, a company backed by Bill Gates. The project, partially funded with federal money, is considered a key step in bringing new nuclear technologies to scale. [E&E News] (Waste of money – ghh)

Have an exceptionally fine day.

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November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “New York Must Act On Clean Trucks” • The future of clean, zero-emission trucks is now in the hands of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The must decide whether to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck rule. We believe the answer is clear: It is imperative that the Department adopt the rule before the end of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Mack Trucks electric garbage truck (Mack Trucks image)

¶ “Entergy’s Big Bet On Renewables” • It doesn’t seem all that long ago when Entergy had grand plans for nuclear power. But the company is now all-in on renewable energy. The surprising thing is how fast renewables will grow. The company gets 1% of its energy from renewables now, but that figure will rise to 17% in three years and 33% in five. [starherald.net]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bamboo Has Been Used For Thousands Of Years In Asia. Now, It Could Help Solve Construction’s Sustainability Problem” • Strong and flexible, bamboo grows fast. While soft and hard woods can take between 40 and 150 years to mature, bamboo is ready to harvest in as little as three years. When treated and engineered, it can last for decades. [CNN]

Bamboo growing (Eleonora Albasi, Unsplash)

¶ “The Crazy Dream Of A Flow Battery Electric Vehicle Is Not So Crazy Any More” • Researchers once dreamed of a flow battery to make an EV that could range as far and wide as a gasmobile. Talk about that died down a while back, but the US DOE has just bet $3 million on a new energy storage project that could turn the dream into reality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Ingenious Living Bridges Of India” • The Indian state of Meghalaya gets so much rain that modern bridges would wash away, but the living bridges stand up to the torrents. Indigenous groups in north-east India have crafted intricate bridges from living fig trees for centuries. Now this ancient skill is making its way to European cities. [CNN]

Double living bridge (Arshiya Urveeja Bose, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Deforestation In The Amazon Increased By 33% In First Ten Months Of 2021, Analysis Shows” • The rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 33% in the first ten months of 2021, compared to the first ten months of 2020, according to an analysis published by the Institute for Man and the Environment of the Amazon. [CNN]

¶ “Plugin Vehicles Have 23% Of New Car Sales In France” • In France, plugin car sales grew in October, with registrations ending at 27,109 units, divided between 15,582 battery EVs and 11,527 plug-in hybrid EVs. The former jumped 55% year over year, while the latter were up 13%. The overall market was down 31% compared to October 2020 [CleanTechnica]

Renault ZOE (Grey Geezer, placed into the public domain)

¶ “30% Plugin Vehicle Share In German Auto Market!” • The German plugin vehicle market scored over 54,000 registrations last month, a 12% improvement year over year. This is an impressive performance considering the overall market crashed 35%. As a result, last month’s plugin share ended at 30%, with 17% of all sales battery EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa And RES Grow Canadian Partnership With 100-MW Turbine Order” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has signed its first project with Renewable Energy Systems in Canada for the 100-MW Hilda wind project in Alberta. Siemens Gamesa will supply 20 SG 5.0-145 turbines, sufficient to power about 50,000 homes. [North American Windpower]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbines

¶ “Global Net-Zero Goals Need 85-140 TWh Of Storage” • To enable power grids to become carbon net-zero, between 85 and 140 TWh of long duration energy storage of more than eight hours can be deployed globally, according to a report prepared by the Long Duration Energy Storage Council in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. [reNews]

US:

¶ “$2.6 Billion Committed To New Solar Projects in Texas, California” • Intersect Power announced it has closed eight separate deals, representing a total of $2.6 billion in financing commitments for construction and operation of six late-stage solar energy projects with 2.2 GW of generating capacity in California and Texas. [Power Magazine]

Wind farm in California (Niranjan Arminius, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Tesla And Buc-Ee’s Plans For Superchargers Span 26 Stores In Seven States” • The best way to describe Buc-Ee’s may be as a gas station on steroids with BBQ, fudge, and shopping. Now Buc-Ee’s and Tesla have an agreement to install Superchargers at 26 stores in seven states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Adaptive Headlights Coming To US Within Two Years” • The infrastructure bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President includes an amendment to Section 108 of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard “to allow for the use on vehicles of adaptive driving beam headlamp systems.” The change will take effect within two years. [CleanTechnica]

Adaptive headlights (Image courtesy of Porsche)

¶ “Entergy Louisiana Signs 350-MW Solar Project Portfolio with DE Shaw Renewable” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments, a US renewable energy producer, has signed three renewable energy off-take agreements with Entergy Louisiana LLC. They are to begin supplying solar energy to ELL and its Louisiana customers in 2024. [T&D World]

¶ “Nuclear Regulators Uphold Violations At Georgia Reactors” • Nuclear power regulators affirmed that the NRC will be giving greater scrutiny to two nuclear reactors under construction at Georgia Power Co’s Plant Vogtle after a special inspection found electrical cables were not properly separated. There were 600 instances of failure reported. [The Middletown Press]

Have an intriguingly gorgeous day.

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November 18 Energy News

November 18, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “UK-Led COP Aviation Declaration Too Weak To Clean Up Flying” • The UK-led international climate ambition declaration for aviation is too weak to reduce flying’s climate impact, says Transport & Environment. In relying on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation, the signatories make the same mistakes as earlier efforts. [CleanTechnica]

Future United Airlines electric airplane (United Airlines image)

¶ “Ride In A Century-Old Detroit Electric Car Warped My Mind” • Recently I had the exquisite pleasure of getting a ride in an original 1913 Detroit Electric car built by the Anderson Electric Car Company. On several levels it was a surprising experience. In fact, I really had a hard time projecting what I was perceiving as being part of reality. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “COP26: The Truth Behind The New Climate Change Denial” • As world leaders met at COP26 to debate how to tackle climate change, misleading claims and falsehoods about the climate spiralled on social media. Scientists say climate change denial is now more likely to focus on the causes and effects of warming, or how to tackle it, than to outright deny it exists. [BBC]

Sun with a very large sunspot (NASA image)

¶ “Europe Was Already Facing A Winter Gas Crisis. The Risks Just Got Even Bigger” • When Germany announced this week that it had suspended certification of a controversial new Russian gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, the response in energy markets was immediate. European natural gas futures finished up almost 18% on Tuesday and rose again on Wednesday. [CNN]

¶ “India’s Fossil Fuel Giants Announce Renewable Energy Partnership ” • India’s largest oil refining company and thermal power generation company have announced a partnership to develop renewable energy assets. Reportedly, NTPC will develop renewable energy generation and energy storage applications for Indian Oil Corporation. [CleanTechnica]

Telangana II solar plant (Thomas Lloyd Group, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “India Enhances Solar Module Manufacturing Incentive To $3 Billion” • India’s Minister for New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, recently told media outlets his government has enhanced the production linked incentive package for manufacturing solar modules. Initially, the incentive package was worth $600 million. They just raised that to $3 billion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Energy Ireland Strives For A Reduction In Energy Prices” • Wind Energy Ireland, the representative body for Irish windpower, called for the reduction of renewable energy prices and overall electricity bills for ratepayers in Ireland. The leader of the organisation said that Ireland has some of the world’s best resources but high energy costs. [Energy Digital]

Irish wind farm (RTG, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Orion Collaboration Will Achieve Net-Zero CO₂ Emissions” • Orion Minerals’ Prieska Power Reserve™ is aimed at generating electrical energy from renewable sources and storing this energy as green hydrogen and ammonia on a long-term basis. The project intends to be energy independent, as it supplies energy for mining zinc and copper. [Mining Review Africa]

US:

¶ “Fires In The Sierra Nevada Likely To Grow In Frequency” • Research from the University of California, Irvine says that by 2040, as humans continue to change the climate, fire-conducive heat waves will become so common that the number of blazes throughout the Sierra stands to increase about 50%. The study appears in the journal Science Advances. [UCI News]

Burnt forest (Brian Bell, UCI)

¶ “Microgrids Powered By Renewables Will Generate 500,000 Jobs And $72 Billion In GDP Growth By 2030” • Microgrids are a solution for resilience, for both the climate and the economy. A Guidehouse Insights report says that every $1 million invested in renewable energy microgrids will create $500,000 in economic benefits and 3.4 skilled jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Navy, KIUC, AES, And NREL Innovate And Collaborate For Resilience And Cost-Effective Clean Energy Project On Kauai” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory partnered with the US Navy to complete a groundbreaking project at the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on the west side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. [CleanTechnica]

Pacific Missile Range Facility (US Navy image)

¶ “Massachusetts Could Have An All-Renewable Energy Future, But Challenges Remain” • If wind, solar, and geothermal energy maintain the growth rates they have shown over a decade, those three sources alone could meet the nation’s electricity demand by 2035, Environment Massachusetts said in a report. But more must be done to maintain those rates. [WBUR]

¶ “Solar Developers Commission Maryland PV” • Solar energy developers One Energy Renewables, CleanChoiceEnergy, and Standard Solar have completed four of a nine-project pipeline of projects in Maryland totaling 24 MW in capacity. The portfolio is projected to benefit over 5,000 Maryland households through community solar subscriptions. [reNews]

Solar panels from below (Asia Chang, Unsplash)

¶ “Maine Voters Reject Renewable Energy Transmission” • The Citizens of Maine voted to pass Maine Question 1 in Tuesday’s election. It called for the revocation of approvals previously issued by Maine regulators for a proposed $1 billion power line called the New England Clean Air Connect. Doing so, they made the energy transition harder in several states. [Forbes]

¶ “America’s Nuclear Power Sector Is Getting $6 Billion Bailout” • After failing to grow for years, the US nuclear industry is finally radiating positivity: fine print of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that just became law has $6 billion in grants for struggling reactors. The sudden enrichment is because nuclear is back in vogue for “low carbon emissions.” [Nasdaq]

Have an admirably great day.

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November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Nuclear Power Won’t Save the World. It Won’t Even Help” • Putting money into nuclear power goes beyond being a huge waste. It detracts from the vital issue of dealing with climate change now by making money unavailable for dealing with the problem using less expensive, more flexible energy that can be built much more quickly. [Green Energy Times]

San Onofre nuclear plant (awnisALAN, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Climate Change: What Did The Scientists Make Of COP26?” • Those who spoke to the BBC praised the conference for getting countries to agree to meet next year to pledge deeper emissions cuts. They welcomed agreements on forests, innovation, and especially methane from fossil fuel extraction and livestock. But they fear politicians won’t deliver. [BBC]

¶ “This City Had Its Hottest Day On Record This Summer. 140 Days Later, It Had Its Wettest” • Abbotsford, British Columbia, recorded its hottest day ever with a temperature of 109°F during an unprecedented heat wave in June. Just 140 days later, it broke another record with 4 inches of rain in 24 hours. Climate change can bring “weather whiplash.” [CNN]

Flood near Abbottsford, 2009 (Murray Foubister, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Germany Suspends Approval For Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline” • Germany suspended its approval process for the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would double its reliance on Russian gas following growing geopolitical pressure to scrap the project. It is a big setback to Kremlin-backed Gazprom’s plans to extend Russian gas dominance. [The Guardian]

¶ “Delhi Smog: Schools And Colleges Shut As Pollution Worsens” • Authorities in Delhi shut all schools and colleges indefinitely amid the worsening air pollution. Construction work has been banned until 21 November, though with specific exceptions. Only five of the eleven coal-based power plants in the city have been allowed to operate. [BBC]

Smog in Delhi (Government of India)

¶ “ZeroAvia Announces Regional Jets Partnership” • ZeroAvia has announced a partnership for regional jets with hydrogen-electric propulsion systems with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Regional Jet Aviation. ZeroAvia will develop the powertrain technology and Mitsubishi will cover design, certification, and the support experience. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India To Replace Thermal Power With Renewables Under Existing PPAs” • India’s Power Ministry issued revised guidelines for thermal generation companies to set up renewable power capacity, by themselves or through developers. The companies will supply the bundled power to the consumers under existing power purchase agreements. [PV Magazine]

Power plant (NTPC image)

¶ “First Nations Clean Energy Network Set Up To Deliver Cheap And Reliable Power To Indigenous Communities” • Australian First Nations groups, unions, industry bodies, and academics have launched a new network to build renewable energy projects for Indigenous communities to provide reliable power and end energy insecurity. [ABC]

US:

¶ “Utility-Scale Solar Reaches LCOE Range Of 2.8¢ To 4.1¢ Per kWh In The USA (Record Low)” • Utility-scale solar has reached another record low in Levelized Cost of Energy, at 2.8¢/kWh to 4.1¢/kWh, according to Lazard’s latest LCOE report, version 15.0. Lazard found that renewables are increasingly outcompeting other forms of energy. [CleanTechnica]

Lazard’s LCOE chart (Lazard image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Study Shows NC Third In Nation For Solar Energy Growth, Tenth In Renewable Energy Overall” • A nonprofit based in North Carolina released a study showing the state is among the top ten in renewable energy development. Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center analyzed renewable energy development in all states. [Carolina Coast Online]

¶ “EDPR Cuts Ribbon At Indiana Crossroads” • EDP Renewables North America and Northern Indiana Public Service Company celebrated the completion of the 302-MW Indiana Crossroads wind farm at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Commercial operations will start by the end of this year, generating power sufficient for 80,000 Indiana homes. [reNews]

Ribbon cutting ceremony (EDPR image)

¶ “America’s Largest Energy Customers Set A Bold Ambition To Achieve A 90% Carbon-Free US Electricity System By 2030 And Accelerate Clean Energy Globally” • The Clean Energy Buyers Alliance organizations announced a goal to have a 90% carbon-free US electricity system by 2030 and a global community of energy customers driving clean energy. [Business Wire]

¶ “$1.1 Billion Renewable Energy Project Touted For Caldwell County” • The Central Texas business corridor is growing yet again, with a massive $1 billion investment from a California company, Chem-Energy, to build two power plants in Caldwell County. The power plants will be solar facilities with and battery storage for energy. [San Antonio Express-News]

Solar farm (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Con Edison Expands Clean Energy Commitment On Path To Net-Zero Emissions” • Con Edison expanded its Clean Energy Commitment, reflecting its strategy to lead the nation in the transition to renewables, give customers more control over their energy use, and prepare the company’s energy-delivery system for the impacts of climate change. [PR Newswire]

¶ “$4 Billion Nuclear Power Plant Backed By Bill Gates And Warren Buffett Is Set For Construction In Wyoming” • Pending federal and local approval, TerraPower will build a $4 billion, 345-MW nuclear facility at the Naughton Power Plant in Kemmerer, Wyoming, about 130 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, the company announced. [USA Today]

Have a profoundly composed day.

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November 16 Energy News

November 16, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Toyota’s Team Japan Aims To Save Internal Combustion Engine From Extinction” • Toyota’s embrace of hydrogen and the internal combustion engine has become ridiculous. Headed up by Akio Toyoda, Toyota is celebrating its own refusal to sign a pledge to eliminate infernal combustion engines in Glasgow last week by forming Team Japan. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota pickup truck (Dusty Barnes, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ford And Purdue University Created A Cable That Fully Charges An EV In 5 Minutes” • Ford has teamed up with Purdue University to build a prototype of a cable that could fully charge an EV’s battery in just five minutes without overheating. It could help overcome one of the last major obstacles standing in the way of EVs achieving mass acceptance. [Yahoo]

¶ “Harnessing The Power Of The Tides In Scotland” • The most ambitious of the tidal energy devices operating in the Orkney Islands is the Orbital O2 from Orbital Marine. It has an output of 2 MW, enough to heat the tea kettles and run the lights in 2,000 UK homes. The Orbital O2 is 240 feet long, weighs 650 tons, and is as big as a floating jumbo jet. [CleanTechnica]

Tidal turbine (Image courtesy of Orbital Marine)

World:

¶ “Indian State Of Andhra Pradesh To Buy 7 GW Of Solar Power” • The power distribution utilities of Andhra Pradesh secured approval from the state regulator to procure 7 GW of solar power from projects auctioned by the Solar Corporation of India. Power will be supplied in tranches between September 2024 and September 2026. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrification Of Rail Freight Industry Takes One (Just One) Giant Step Forward” • Everybody knows that transportation by rail freight is fuel efficient. The missing link for sustainability is full electrification. Now we can see some hope in the form of a 100% electric locomotive soon to ply the rails for the Canadian railway company CN. [CleanTechnica]

Battery electric locomotive (Courtesy of Wabtec Corporation)

¶ “Epson Becomes The Manufacturing Industry’s First To Switch To 100% Renewable Electricity At All Sites In Japan” • Epson is the first company in the Japanese manufacturing industry to convert to 100% renewable electricity for all its domestic sites. As a result, Epson will reduce its annual CO₂ emissions by about 250,000 tonnes. [MarketScreener]

¶ “China To Encourage Power Users To Directly Buy Renewables In Cross-Province Spot Trading” • China will encourage power consumers to trade directly with renewable power generators in spot electricity trading, and will gradually add bulk power users and power sellers into the trade, the National Development and Reform Commission said. [MarketScreener]

Solar panels in China (Davidzdh, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “UK, US Partnership Eyes 20-GW Clean Power Goal” • UK-based Low Carbon and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company joined forces to build a renewable energy independent power producer of 20 GW by 2030. Focusing on international projects, it will leverage proven technologies including solar, storage, windpower, and waste-to-energy. [reNews]

¶ “Global Storage Market ‘Set For Boom’” • Global energy storage installations will reach a cumulative 358 GW by the end of 2030, according to the latest forecast from energy research company BloombergNEF. BNEF forecasts 358-GW, 1028 GWh by the end of 2030, more than 20 times larger than the 17-GW, 34-GWh at the end of 2020. [reNews]

Energy storage (Engie image)

US:

¶ “Biden Signs ‘Once-In-A-Generation’ $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Into Law” • US President Joe Biden has signed into law a $1.2 trillion spending bill. The legislation pledges funding to upgrade highways, roads, and bridges, to modernize transit and passenger rail networks, and for clean drinking water, high speed internet, and a nationwide network of EV charging points. [BBC]

¶ “11% Of Ford F-150 Lightning Pre-Orders Are From Tesla Owners” • A Lightning Owners forum for F-150 Lightning buyers tracks the pre-orders for Ford’s all new electric pickup truck and analyzes the data. One thing it tracks is what vehicle those people will be getting rid of to put an F-150 Lightning in their driveway. It turns out 11% are Teslas. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Ford Motor Company)

¶ “Tesla Semi Spotted Charging At Megacharger At Giga Nevada” • A Twitter user shared photos of a white Tesla Semi charging at the Megacharger at Giga Nevada. Whether or not Pepsi will be receiving its first Semi this year isn’t known, but what is known is that those old rumors of the Tesla Semi not existing can be put to bed – again. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Jericho’s Two New Solar Plants Will Generate Enough Power For 7,800 Vermont Homes” • Two utility-sized solar plants have come online in Jericho, Vermont, topping a former gravel pit and a closed-down landfill. They are expected to generate enough electricity for 7,800 homes, according to their developer, Encore Renewable Energy. [Burlington Free Press]

Solar array in Jericho (Encore Renewable Energy)

¶ “Solar Project Now Powers Five New England Colleges” • The 76.5-MW Farmington solar project in Maine has entered service, and will supply power to five New England colleges, Amherst, Bowdoin, Hampshire, Smith, and Williams, as part of a 20-year power purchase agreement. A unit of NextEra Energy Resources built the facility. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Rising Sea Levels: How Climate Change Has Affected South Carolina” • While climate projections look to the future and discuss the worst impacts of climate change, we are already experiencing its effects across the US. Here are descriptions of what is happening in South Carolina and neighboring states, along with a link to the national story [WCBD]

Have a thrillingly easy day.

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November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “How Much Is Spent Supporting Fossil Fuels And Green Energy?” • Despite pledges to limit support, governments around the world spend more than $420 billion each year subsidizing non-renewable energy, according to the UN Development Programme. How do fossil fuel subsidies work and which countries are spending the most? [BBC]

Abandoned open pit mine (Aedrian, Unsplash)

¶ “Don’t Underestimate Local Knowledge Of Agriculture In Dealing With Climate Change” • In Senegal, the harvest depends on rain. But a study from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona shows that local knowledge of crops and climate can make a huge difference in how much there is to eat. [Forbes]

COP26:

¶ “COP26 Ended With The Glasgow Climate Pact. Here’s Where It Succeeded And Failed” • Nearly 200 countries adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact at the COP26 talks, after wrangling nearly two weeks. The pact will not get us to the goal we need to reach, but in some important ways, the talks were successful in moving us forward. Here are some major points. [CNN]

Demonstration (francis mckee, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How Might Decisions At The Climate Summit Change Our Lives?” • A deal has been agreed upon and signed at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. You might be left wondering what, if anything, it will mean for you. There a a number of ways in which the decisions made at COP26 could change your life. Here are some of the most important. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Deal Sounds The Death Knell For Coal Power – PM” • The Glasgow climate deal is a “game-changing agreement” which sounds “the death knell for coal power,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. Although countries only agreed to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal, a change India insisted on, he said this was a fantastic achievement. [BBC]

Microburst (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “COP26 – Best Summary Out There” • We’ve had the speeches and the briefings, the commitments and the backstepping, big things happening and deals being done. COP26 has dominated the news cycle for many of us. Some see progress, and some see blah blah blah. Here is an “Honest Government” commentary video with highly offensive language. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “NFI Expands Its Partnership With Li-Cycle To Recycle Heavy-Duty EV Batteries At Scale” • NFI Group, the maker of New Flyer buses, announced the expansion of its partnership with Li-Cycle. This will facilitate heavy-duty battery recycling at scale as heavy-duty EV adoption grows. The deal is Li-Cycle’s first program in the heavy-duty vehicle space. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer Excelsior bus (New Flyer image)

¶ “Ghana Advances Clean Energy With Eight New Solar Plants” • A Ghanaian state entity, Bui Power Authority, announced plans to build eight solar plants in the northern part of the country. The sites are close to substations of the Ghana Grid Company where the solar plants have potential capacities of 10MW to 100MW. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Renewable Energy Revolution Is Powering Australia’s $720 Billion Mining And Resources Industry” • Along with a solar farm and a battery, five giant wind turbines are powering much of the operations at the Agnew gold project in Western Australia. It is the first resources project in Australia to have a wind farm, but it is unlikely to be the last. [ABC News]

Wind farm (Gold Fields image)

¶ “EDF To Power JPMorgan Chase’s UK Operations With 100% Renewable Energy” • EDF announced a deal with the investment bank and financial services company JPMorgan Chase to power its UK offices with 100% renewable energy. JPMorgan Chase’s electricity consumption will be matched to renewable generation on a 24/7 basis. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶ “This Colorado ‘Solar Garden’ Is Literally A Farm Under Solar Panels” • A Colorado solar garden is also growing vegetables, with help from researchers at nearby Colorado State University and the National Renewable Energy Lab. They had been studying how to turn all the otherwise unused land beneath solar panels into a place to grow food. [WPRL]

Growing produce under solar panels (Kirk Siegler, NPR)

¶ “New Mexico Utilities Can Invest Over $11 Million Into EV Infrastructure And Education” • The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved plans for two utilities to speed up deployment of EVs over the next two years. Their plans include charging infrastructure at single-family and multi-family homes as well as public spaces. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “While Nations Dither, US Cities, Counties, And States Are Suing Fossil Fuel Companies” • How the nations at COP26 will act on climate change is yet to be seen, but US states, counties, and cities are acting. At least 29 of them have filed climate lawsuits in state courts against major fossil fuel companies for fraud, damages, or both. [CleanTechnica]

Have a meticulously uncomplicated day.

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November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2021

COP26:

¶ “COP26 Climate Deal Includes Historic Reference To Fossil Fuels But Doesn’t Meet The Urgency Of The Crisis” • Nearly 200 nations reached a climate agreement at COP26. It references the role of fossil fuels in the climate crisis for the first time. India made an 11th-hour objection, however, that watered down the language about reducing the use of coal. [CNN]

Machinery in a German lignite mine (C M, Unsplash)

¶ “Evasive Words And Coal Compromise, But Deal Shows Progress” • The COP26 Climate Pact is an ambitious attempt to rein in rising temperatures, but the last-minute row over coal has cast a shadow over the deal. India was joined by China in pushing for a watering down of a key commitment, insisting on “phasing down” rather than “phasing out” coal. [BBC]

¶ “It Won’t Save Us From Drowning” • The COP26 climate deal plans to reduce the world’s reliance on coal and promises more money to help poor countries cope with the impacts of global warming. But those who are most exposed are largely pessimistic about the outcome of the summit, believing that the agreements aren’t enough to save their homelands. [BBC]

Tina Stege, Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands
(PeaceActionMaine, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Blah Blah Blah…: A Brief Summary Of COP26, Says Greta Thunberg” • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of an impending “climate catastrophe,” while climate campaigner Greta Thunberg dismissed Saturday’s COP26 climate conference deal as “blah, blah, blah.” Even those who welcomed the deal said a huge amount of work remains. [India Today]

¶ “What Is COP26 And What Has Been Agreed At Glasgow Climate Conference?” • Extreme weather events linked to climate change are intensifying. The past decade was the warmest on record and governments agree urgent collective action is needed. COP26 was the latest of a series of meetings on what to do about it. Here are some things agreed on. [BBC]

Evidence of climate change (NOAA image)

World:

¶ “Putin Warns Belarus Over Gas Threat To EU” • President Lukashenko of Belarus threatened to cut off gas supplies to the EU after it threatened sanctions over a growing migrant crisis on the Belarus-Polish border. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that stopping natural gas supplies from Russia to the EU would be a breach of contract with Russia. [BBC]

¶ “Korea Needs To Invest More To Meet Wind Power Target” • South Korea needs more aggressive investment in the renewable energy sector to achieve its offshore wind capacity goal by 2030 and address the country’s geographical weaknesses in wind energy, according to a report from London-based consulting firm Ernst & Young. [The Korea Herald]

Korean offshore wind farm (Korea South-East Power Co)

¶ “Li-Cycle And Atlis Motor Vehicles Partner On Recycling Lithium-Ion Batteries” • Li-Cycle, based in Toronto, entered into an agreement with Atlis Motor Vehicles, an Arizona startup mobility technology company, according to an announcement. Li-Cycle, which focuses on recycling lithium-ion batteries, is the largest battery recycler in North America. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Solar PV And PV+Storage Costs Keep Dropping, New NREL Reports Show” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released its annual cost breakdown of installed solar PV and battery storage systems. US Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2021 details installed costs for PV systems as of the first quarter of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Change in costs (NREL image)

¶ “Delta Boss Says Climate Change Means Flying Will Cost More” • Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian told the BBC that tackling climate change will make flying more expensive. Atlanta-based Delta, the world’s second biggest airline, says that it spends $30 million per year on carbon-offsetting and has been carbon neutral since March 2020. [BBC]

¶ “XPRIZE & Musk Foundation Announce 23 XPRIZE Carbon Removal Student Award Winners” • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk along with his foundation are funding the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition, which is aimed at fighting climate change. XPRIZE announced that $5 million of that prize was been awarded to 23 student-led teams. [CleanTechnica]

Have an amply enriching day.

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